The Memphis Grizzlies have had quite the draft night, as they landed Ja Morant with the second overall pick to replace the recently traded Mike Conley, and in the back half of the first round they made a savvy move to hop up two spots to grab a player some thought was a lottery prospect.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have long been reported as a team looking to move down in the draft from the No. 21 spot, as they seek to find tax relief, and Memphis hopped up two spots from the 23rd overall pick (gotten in the Conley trade with Utah) to 21 by attaching a future second round pick. At that pick, they took Brandon Clarke, the big man out of Gonzaga, to pair with Jaren Jackson Jr. and make for a terrifying defensive frontcourt.
Clarke was a darling of draft analysts, but slid down the board after posting less than stellar measurables at the combine in Chicago — most concerning was his 6’8 wingspan for a 6’8 height. Still, his explosiveness and athleticism is as good as anyone outside of Zion Williamson in this draft and at 21, it was worth the gamble for Memphis. They now have quite the young core to build around in the post-Grit N Grind era.