Former Grizzlies lottery pick tabbed as 'most likely' to be traded

Nov 26, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins watches the first
Nov 26, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins watches the first / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

With their putrid 6-18 start to 2023-24, the Memphis Grizzlies have consistently been urged to make some sort of shakeup in an attempt to try and salvage their campaign, especially with superstar Ja Morant slated to make his return to action in the next few days.

Of course, the magnitude of said needed shakeup has been oft-debated, with some suggesting a major blockbuster is a must to help in the now while others believe taking part in "simple selling" with a focus on the years to come could be the most beneficial to the franchise.

Regardless of which path they choose to embark on between now and February 8's deadline, it appears one player more than anyone else is being viewed as highly expendable, as Dan Favale of Bleacher Report recently tabbed third-year wing Ziaire Williams as the "most likely" Grizzlies talent to be dealt this year.

Grizzlies' Ziaire Williams deemed 'most likely' to be traded this year

Since the departure of Dillon Brooks this past offseason, the Grizzlies have been void of any semblance of a reliable option to plug into their starting three spot. While this was certainly a fear coming into the year, the hope was that Williams, the 10 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, would relish in the opportunity of more playing time and live up to his status as a recent lottery selection.

Unfortunately, through nearly two months of action coach Taylor Jenkins is still searching for an answer to his wing spot and, as Favale voiced in his piece, "It's clearly not Ziaire Williams."

However, considering his lottery-selected status coupled with the fact that he's still just 22 years old, there could be some significant interest from rebuilding squads in attaining his services on the trade market and, thus, should come as no surprise that he's being viewed as a likely trade candidate this season.

Despite his underwhelming tenure thus far with the title-hungry Grizzlies, Williams has showcased on numerous occasions the type of appeal that made him a high-end draft selection in the first place.

From his solid defensive instincts and sheer athleticism to his enviable frame for an NBA wing at 6-foot-9, the youngster has flashed high-end potential on numerous occasions in his career, though has failed to properly display it on a consistent basis. Perhaps a major reason for this has been Memphis' lack of interest in development as they seek their franchise's first championship.

On a club more invested in a youth movement, Williams could find an easier way to play up to his inherent abilities with a meaningful amount of playing time.

Maybe this allure could help increase his stock on the market that, based on statistics alone (7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds for his career), isn't all that lucrative, thus making a possible return package all the more enticing.