Re-grading the Grizzlies draft picks in the Zach Kleiman era

The Grizzlies need to build through the draft and recent misses have played a factor in their slow start.
Memphis Grizzlies, Zach Kleiman
Memphis Grizzlies, Zach Kleiman / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Santi Aldama winds up in Memphis after another trade up in 2021

Kleiman continued to make moves. This time he swapped three second-round picks to get the 30th overall selection in 2021. This move worked masterfully to acquire Desmond Bane, and first-round picks come with a rookie-scale contract. It can be harder to keep second-rounders for the full four years on their first deal.

The Grizzlies took Aldama, who continues to improve. The 6’11 big man is averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists to start his third NBA season. He may never play massive minutes, but Aldama makes an impact when on the floor. His 0.130 win shares per 48 minutes in the 2023 campaign rated 66th in the league.

Grade: B+

Herb Jones went in the second round of this draft, and the Grizzlies would love to have a lockdown defender. That takes nothing away from Aldama. He is tenth in VORP and 11th in win shares in this class after two-plus years. There is plenty to be excited about, especially for the 30th overall pick in a class that featured plenty of first-round busts.

Zach Kleiman has been fantastic at finding talent in the late first round, but missing on Herb Jones bumps the grade for this selection down to a B-plus.