3 teams Grizzlies could trade No. 9 pick to ahead of 2024 NBA Draft

Mar 11, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) drives to the basket
Mar 11, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) drives to the basket / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Rockets

Recently, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed the idea of the Grizzlies actually trading up in the 2024 NBA Draft to try and land UConn big Donovan Clingan and tabbed the Rockets as a realistic suitor in such a situation.

Though the ideal scenario would likely be for Memphis to try and acquire an already established NBA player with experience aiding in winning causes, pursuing Clingan to serve as their long-term option at the five may not be a bad second course of action and, with the way Buckley broke things down, coughing up the ninth pick in a deal for Houston's third pick could be the way to go about things.

"Memphis might see Donovan Clingan as the kind of prospect capable of playing an impact role right now and growing into something even greater down the line. The Grizzlies, remember, have a Steven Adams-sized hole on the interior, and the 7'2", 265-pound Clingan could fill it with a similar blend of physicality and paint protection.

If Memphis views Clingan as a capable starter, that might be a big enough prize to leap up the draft board at the expense of Marcus Smart, who might not be the shooting threat the Grizzlies want playing alongside Ja Morant."

Zach Buckley

For months now, Clingan has been a prospect often linked as the possible successor to Steven Adams at center out in Memphis, with many even viewing him as an ideal fit with the franchise.

A big-bodied presence who can swipe down rebounds and defend the rim, during his final season at the collegiate level the 20-year-old went on to record averages of 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks while leading the Wildcats to their second-straight NCAA Championship.

Though adding the other players mentioned on this list may be seen as the sexier of moves the Grizzlies could look to make, from a logical and long-term standpoint, the concept of attaining a guy of Clingan's ilk and potential may prove to be the more desirable route for Kleiman to take.

Assuming he'd already be snatched up before Memphis is on the clock at nine, pursuing a deal similar to the one Buckley proposed should be strongly considered.