Grizzlies Pick: Celtics' extra selection outside of lottery

Nick Friar
January 14, 2020 - 10:53 am
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(NOTE: In addition to their own first-round slot in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Celtics have Memphis and Milwaukee’s 2020 first-round picks. However, the Grizzlies’ pick is top-6 protected. The Bucks’ is top-7 protected. If either pick is not conveyed, it will be unprotected in 2021.)

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It finally happened. The Grizzlies have finally fallen outside of the lottery. Heading into play on Tuesday, they’re the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference at 18-22.

Memphis has now won five games in a row, knocking off the Spurs — the No. 9 team in the West — in the process.

Despite the loss to the Grizzlies, San Antonio (17-21) is moving back in the right direction, having beaten the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors recently. Right now, Gregg Popovich, DeMar DeRozan — the latest Western Conference Player of the Week — and company are the Celtics’ best hope at obtaining a lottery pick from the Grizzlies.

But the Grizzlies' trend isn’t new. Memphis has been playing better and better from week to week. For a while now, it’s looked like Boston’s Grizzlies pick will convey when the 2020 NBA Draft rolls around. Of course, the ping pong balls may have something to say about all that — if Memphis falls out of the eighth seed.

But don’t expect the pick’s status to improve by much even if the Grizzlies start to struggle and fall out of playoff contention. There are six teams in the Eastern Conference almost guaranteed to finish below them in the overall standings and the Warriors have the second-worst record in the NBA. Then there are still several other organizations between Memphis and the league’s bottom seven teams.

If Danny Ainge isn’t going to move the pick, it’s time we start looking at players the C’s could select in the 13-17 slot range.

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