The Memphis Grizzlies slipped in the NBA Draft Lottery and now own the fourth overall draft pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Memphis entered the draft lottery with the second-best odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick at 19.9 percent and held 55.8 percent odds of landing a top-three pick. (The Grizzlies’ lowest-possible pick would have landed at No. 5 overall.)
However, the ping-pong balls did not fall in Beale Street’s favor.
The Grizzlies now own the Nos. 4 and 32 picks in the 2018 draft.
Lottery selections have not been kind to the Grizzlies’ front office since drafting Mike Conley. Since 2008, the Grizzlies have drafted then traded Kevin Love to Minnesota for O.J. Mayo, taken Hasheem Thabeet over the likes of James Harden, Steph Curry and DeMar DeRozan and picked Xavier Henry, who played 38 games for Memphis, at 12th overall.
With the franchise’s peak Grit ’N’ Grind years officially in the past, the organization has its first chance to draft a bona fide top prospect — in a very deep draft — for the first time in eight years.
And with their 2019 first-round pick being owed to Boston, the Grizzlies are placing significant emphasis on landing two standouts in this draft.
“We’re looking at it like it’s our first-round pick for next year, because we won’t have our first next year,” Grizzlies executive vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger told Grind City Media. “ … When you look at it, this year’s draft is pretty good and next year’s (may not be as deep). The No. 32 this year might be equivalent to a No. 20 next year.”