Grizzlies add Donte DiVincenzo-esque talent in latest mock draft

Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

At this point in the season, the primary objective for the Memphis Grizzlies is to try their best to secure a top-notch selection in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Playing through what is being considered a gap year of sorts, the hope is that Zach Kleiman and company can nab a quality contributor with their lottery pick and add them to the club's 2024-25 rotation that, with a presumably healthy Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marcus Smart, is once again expected to be in the mix for title contention.

Though, when completely intact, this team boasts one of the strongest talent pools the league has to offer, there still are a select few weaknesses found within coach Taylor Jenkins' rotation that should be addressed this summer.

Naturally, the draft is viewed as a cheap and easy course of action for the Grizzlies to shore up some of their loose ends, and, over the past several months, there have been a number of hypothetical scenarios drawn up that are believed to be ways the front office can make the most of the occasion.

Though there's much debate over what position Memphis should look to address with their lofty first-round selection, Jonathan Wasserman seems to believe that continuing to stack up their backcourt depth could be in the cards for the franchise, as the Bleacher Report writer recently had the club taking Kentucky sharpshooter Reed Sheppard with the sixth pick in his latest mock draft.

Memphis Grizzlies take Reed Sheppard in recent 2024 NBA Mock Draft

Compared to the likes of Knicks stud Donte DiVincenzo, draft projections seem to be quite high and continually rising for the two-guard and Wasserman believes adding his two-way versatility to this Grizzlies team could make for a true luxury moving forward.

"Reed Sheppard burned a performance into scouts' memories with his 32 points, seven assists and buzzer-beater at Mississippi State. The idea of boxing him into a "connector" role at the next level is starting to feel limiting. This was the type of explosion that could help stretch NBA teams' imaginations and allow them to see more initiator potential with how he was able to surprise defenses with his burst to break them down and make plays off the dribble.

Regardless, Sheppard figures to look like an easy fit anywhere with his lights-out stroke and ball-moving. But it's the flashes of ball-screen driving and pull-ups that hint at another level of scoring upside that Kentucky's deep rotation may be masking."

Jonathan Wasserman

Boasting a smooth shooting stroke and quick footwork, the 19-year-old has been an absolute gem for John Calipari's Wildcats during his freshman season.

Through 29 games played, the youngster finds himself sporting impressive per-game averages of 12.4 points, 4.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and just shy of a block while cashing in on a whopping 53.5 percent of his attempts from the floor and 51.7 percent of his shots from deep.

Now, when looking at the roster for the Grizzlies, it's quite evident that they are not in dire need for added backcourt depth, as they already have things covered with Morant, Bane, and Smart in tow.

With this in mind, assuming they end up holding onto their draft pick rather than trading it in a possible offseason blockbuster, the ball club likely would look toward talents who can log minutes at the three, four, and five spots, which is something that the 6-foot-3 Sheppard is incapable of doing.

Nevertheless, should they end up coveting additional guard help -- perhaps in the unlikely event that they part ways with Marcus Smart --, taking a swing on the youngster could provide a high-upside punch to Memphis' rotation moving forward.

However, as things currently stand, one should not expect the Grizzlies to be in strong consideration of snagging this or any other guard with their lottery pick.