Grizzlies Pick: Memphis' early trend looks good for Celtics

Nick Friar
December 03, 2019 - 6:45 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’s safe to assume the Celtics will receive Milwaukee’s pick this year. No shot the Bucks wind up with a top-7 pick.

Memphis is a different story.

The Grizzlies lost to the Pacers 117-104 on Monday and are now 6-14. They have some quality wins (Jazz on 11/15 and twice against Minnesota), but their young group still needs time to grow and develop chemistry.

With Ja Morant (back spasms, week-to-week) and Brandon Clarke (hip, out Monday) sidelined, Memphis won’t be able to do much in terms of improving cohesion soon.

Morant’s injury doesn’t come at the best time for the Grizzlies’ standing in the West either. They face the Bulls next and the Warriors two games later.

Landing a top-6 pick won’t be easy this year. The Grizzlies have the same record as the Pelicans, while the Cavs, Hawks, Knicks and Warriors have all been worse, so far. And there are other teams (Spurs, Bulls and Wizards) who could slide down.

If the season were to end right now, the Grizzlies would have a good chance of keeping their 2020 pick. But a lot can change week-to-week, never mind over 62 games.

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