Grizzlies urged to move on from former lottery pick this summer

Memphis Grizzlies v Charlotte Hornets
Memphis Grizzlies v Charlotte Hornets / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Over the years, the Memphis Grizzlies have had quite a bit of success with their draft decisions. From plucking up Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. in the first to, most recently, GG Jackson in the second GM Zach Kleiman has managed to find a slew of quality talents who have established themselves as legitimate building blocks for the future.

Of course, despite the front office's extensive list of hits along the way there have been some grave misses as well, with perhaps the most noteworthy being 2021 lottery pick, Ziaire Williams.

Selected 10 overall by the Grizzlies, the hope with taking the raw yet highly athletic Stanford standout was that, with the proper tutelage and guidance, he could eventually develop into a strong two-way tweener forward who, in theory, could serve as a long-term answer at the small forward position.

Fast forward three years into his professional career, however, and we find that the once decreed "future-breakout darling" has fallen well short of expectations and, more often than not, is being linked to trade hypotheticals.

With just one more year left on his rookie-scale deal at a price tag of $6.1 million, Williams finds himself heading into a make-or-break campaign out in Memphis, as this could very well be his last shot at proving his worth to the franchise while he looks to secure a new contract.

However, many believe the youngster has run out of chances to prove himself, as Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report is going as far as to urge the Grizzlies to move on from the underwhelming talent this coming offseason.

B/R says Grizzlies 'should look to move' Ziaire Williams this summer

"One player Memphis got a good look at is Ziaire Williams, as the third-year forward played over 20 minutes per night in his 51 games. The No. 10 overall pick in 2021, he averaged just 8.2 points on 39.7 percent shooting overall and registered a negative swing rating on both offense and defense for the third-straight year."

Greg Swartz

Though it's undeniable that Williams has failed to live up to his lofty draft status thus far into his career, through three seasons the forward has still managed to periodically showcase the upside that made him a top-10 selection in the first place.

From his length (6-foot-9 with nearly a 7-foot wingspan) to his impressive athleticism, there still appears to be plenty to like about him from a passion project perspective.

Unfortunately, his flashes have come too few and far between for a title-hopeful team like the Grizzlies to continue focusing valuable attention on trying to pull it out on a more consistent basis, but, perhaps in the eyes of rebuilding teams scattered across the association, the idea of bringing on the 22-year-old could be a highly intriguing move worth making.