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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Grizzlies trade up for Jake LaRavia in 2022

Memphis again traded up in this draft. They had picks 22 and 29 coming into the night but went up to 19 to take LaRavia. The 6’8 forward played three years of college basketball but was drawing plenty of buzz for his shooting potential. Memphis wanted an older player who would be ready to help quickly, but things have not worked out as planned.

LaRavia has barely played so far, and the production has left a lot to be desired when he has. He is averaging 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game through his first 40 NBA contests. The 6’8 forward is currently injured, but things have not gone well when healthy.

Grade: D

LaRavia rated 34th in VORP and 28th in win shares per 48 minutes in this class so far. He has not been completely unplayable, but the Grizzlies hoped for more.

Walker Kessler and Christian Braun appear to be better players who were still available. It is still early too. LaRavia could improve, but others may pass him. Trading two first-round picks to move up to get him seems like a mistake, which earns Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies front office a D for this move.

Imagine Kessler patrolling the paint in Memphis right now. The young big man would solve some of the team’s issues, but the Grizzlies went for upside in LaRavia.