Reporter issues 3-word take on Donovan Clingan's fit with Grizzlies

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Monday night, collegiate basketball came to its ultimate end with UConn taking down Purdue in the NCAA Tournament's electrifying finale. Though many may presume that Huskies fans would be the ones primarily flooding the social media world with posts of excitement, interestingly enough it appears those associated with the Memphis Grizzlies are also hopping in on the action themselves.

With the big dance now officially in the rearview, NBA fans and personnel alike can set their sights on this June's draft, where teams will be looking to add much-needed talents to their roster and fill glaring rotational vacancies.

The Grizzlies will almost certainly be approaching this year's draft with the hope of addressing the void at their center position created by GM Zach Kleiman's decisions to part with Xavier Tillman and Steven Adams ahead of this year's trade deadline.

At 27-51, Memphis boasts favorable odds to have their first-round selection land within the first seven to ten picks, meaning they'll have a slew of quality talents to choose from.

However, following the NCAA's final contest, beat reporter Damichael Cole believes that it's rather clear who should be atop Grind City's big board, as he issued a three-word statement on a recent episode of Locked on Grizzlies that tabs UConn big Donovan Clingan as the optimal choice over his Finals opponent in Zach Edey.

Should the 20-year-old still be available when they're on the clock, Cole says: "That's your guy."

Donovan Clingan tabbed as optimal fit for Grizzlies in this year's draft

"I can see Donovan Clingan being a starter more so than I can see [Zach] Edey being a future NBA starter because of the defensive versatility more than anything... Right now, Donovan Clingan [is the] better NBA prospect overall. Zach Edey had the better game, whatever the case may be, but Clingan was very impactful leading UConn to that victory."

Damichael Cole

At 7-foot-2, 280 pounds Clingan has the build of an interior enforcer at the next level, and his matchup against the 7-foot-4 Edey should have only strengthened such a notion as he approaches the draft.

Through 35 games played in 2023-24, the big man posted impressive per game averages of 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks while shooting 63.9 percent from the field.

A player who boasts a game often compared to the likes of All-Star Rudy Gobert, though some outlets believe the Grizzlies should simply go for the best player available, should the front office covet a big man Cole believes that Clingan should be the obvious choice.