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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Overall grade for Grizzlies drafting in the Zach Kleiman era

The draft is an exact science. No team nails every pick, but some of the Memphis Grizzlies' current issues tie directly to recent failed draft picks. If they replace Ziaire Williams, Santi Aldama, Jake LaRavia, and David Roddy with Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones, Walker Kessler, and De’Anthony Melton, Memphis is likely flirting with a top-eight spot in the West as they wait for Ja Morant to return.

No franchise nails every pick. Credit to Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies front office for taking Morant and Desmond Bane in back-to-back years to team with Jaren Jackson Jr. It set Memphis up to make three straight playoff appearances, but it is still fair to criticize the recent failed selections.

Overall, Kleiman has done well and made the Grizzlies better, but the misses have dropped his draft grade.

Grade: B-

There have been no total strikeouts. Every pick has played and contributed to the franchise. Still, the recent struggles may keep the Memphis Grizzlies from the playoffs in 2024. It won’t be easy digging out of this hole with Morant in the lineup.

Zach Kleiman should look at his recent picks to figure out what has gone wrong. He has uncovered a ton of talent but needs to keep finding difference-makers in the late first-round. His success will determine his legacy as a drafter and lead decision-maker. Memphis Grizzlies fans have to hope for more hits like Bane, but that is easier said than done.