Grizzlies/NBA draft blog: Where the Grizz stand

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 03, 2021 7:00 PM CT | Published: July 27, 2021 10:51 AM CT

Beat writer Drew Hill and columnists Geoff Calkins and Chris Herrington will post blog posts, stories and columns as events develop for the Grizzlies.

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July 29, 2021

About that second-round pick: Possible names to note at No. 40

3:18 PM CT, July 29

As we get back into the draft, let’s start on a positive note from a former Grizzly:

While we’re still a few hours away from starting the clock on the 2021 NBA draft, Woj is out here trying to shut it down early:

If that’s all true, it’s not surprising. Barring big trades, that’s what’s been expected. The intrigue could start at No. 4 with Toronto. At a minimum, the dominos that will determine the Grizzlies’ night will start falling with Oklahoma City at No. 6.

But the Grizzlies also have a second-round pick, at No. 40. 

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Where the Grizzlies stand as draft day arrives

7:21 AM CT, July 29

And here we are: It’s NBA Draft Day, one of America’s five favorite holidays.

As the day begins, what do we know and not know about the Grizzlies’ plans at No. 10?

We know that they didn’t move up to No. 10 with the certainty that a specific player would be there for them. If that were a prerequisite, they would have waited until draft night to make the move.

We believe (this is very near to knowledge) that they are in the market for one of the five wings projected in the mid-lottery. To refresh, the five wings in question: G Leaguer Jonathan Kuminga; UConn bucket-getter James Bouknight; Michigan forward Franz Wagner; Arkansas swingman Moses Moody; and Australian playmaker Josh Giddey.

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July 28, 2021

Is trading back again an option for the Grizzlies?

6:22 PM CT, July 28

The Grizzlies made headlines Monday when they moved up to pick No. 10. Speculation quickly followed that Memphis may try to trade up again, with a few teams identified as potential moving partners. 

Golden State, at pick No. 7, appears to be the lead candidate in that department, if only because noise has circled about its willingness to move out of the spot from the beginning. It is still in win-now mode. 

Grizzlies release Las Vegas Summer League schedule

But can the two get a deal done? Depending on who Golden State has identified as rostered Memphis players who can help them in the short term, aligning contracts could be tricky — and it became even more so after taking on the expensive deals of Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams from the Pelicans.

At pick No. 10, there are several wing options available for Memphis. The five that immediately were connected with the Grizzlies following the trade were Moses Moody, Josh Giddey, Franz Wagner, Jonathan Kuminga and James Bouknight. All are generally projected as top-10 picks. 

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Afternoon update with mock NBA drafts, rumors, more

3:15 PM CT, July 28

It’s been an oddly quiet day on the NBA offseason scuttlebutt front, presumably as NBA war rooms close ranks and work toward Thursday night’s ultimate outcomes. 

Perhaps this post will shake some things free.

There have been a few Grizzlies-related items floating around, but none of them from well-known, reliable sources.

Grizzlies podcast: Memphis makes major draft move

One has the Grizzlies showing interest in Milwaukee Bucks guard Bryn Forbes, who has opted into next week’s free agency. Forbes is a good 3-point shooter, a constant Grizzlies need, but not much else, and the team is currently loaded with players who would likely be above Forbes in any depth chart. I wouldn’t put much stock in this unless draft week clears out some roster room.

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If the Grizzlies move up again, where could they go?

9:07 AM CT, July 28

Welcome to the day before the NBA draft. Typically this is when the chatter around potential picks and trades starts to accelerate. 

The Grizzlies couldn’t wait, agreeing to the first trade of draft week on Monday afternoon. But per my own sources — and everyone else’s — they are still angling for more. What that is and whether they get it are known unknowns.

It’s rare to agree to a move-up-in-the-draft trade as early as the Grizzlies did. For all the varying speculation of which prospect they prefer, the deal to get to No. 10 wasn’t about targeting a specific player. It was about moving into a higher tier of the draft. 

If the Grizzlies move up again from No. 10, it will be to get a specific player, and for that reason any additional move-up trade almost certainly won’t be cemented until draft night. 

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July 27, 2021

Do the Grizzlies have the goods to go star hunting?

5:03 PM CT, July 27

This morning on “The Geoff Calkins Show,” Geoff asked me what the Grizzlies could conceivably do with Eric Bledsoe’s contract. 

How much do you want to daydream, I asked?

Consider: Bledsoe, the guard the Grizzlies will acquire from New Orleans in the draft deal agreed to Monday, has an $18 million contract next season and only $4 million guaranteed in 2022-2023. It’s not a big expiring contract, but pretty close. 

Combine that with the fully expiring contracts of Kyle Anderson ($10 million) and Tyus Jones ($8 million) and the Grizzlies can pool roughly $36 million in mostly expiring contracts. Washington’s Bradley Beal, the league’s second-leading scorer last season and thought to be a trade candidate this summer, is on the books next season for $34 million. 

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More evidence of Giddey, Wagner as likely Grizz draft targets

11:53 AM CT, July 27

Some interesting Grizzlies-related stuff from some of ESPN’s sharpest NBA voices this morning:

On Zach Lowe’s “Lowe Post” podcast, he’s joined by draft coverage specialists Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. 

Lowe notes, as others have, that the Grizzlies are still poking around for other deals. 

Grizzlies Draft Headquarters 4.0: Memphis likely not done yet

Givony says that the buzz is that the Grizzlies are most interested in Michigan forward Franz Wagner and Australian wing/guard Josh Giddey, with the former unlikely to be there at No. 10.

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Next-day notes on the Pelicans trade

10:40 AM CT, July 27

This is a deal that will be consummated in steps, first with each team making selections for the other at the draft, then becoming official on Aug. 6, when the NBA’s free agency moratorium lifts.

First us:

Some other wider reads on the deal:

What do the major mock drafts see the Grizzlies doing? Here’s a sample:

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Memphis Grizzlies NBA New Orleans Pelicans


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