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As of today, Memphis pick would convey to Celtics at #16 - not good news

The Memphis grizzlies are not cooperating! Before the start of the season, they were slated to be high-lottery bound by the end of this year's campaign. That's not happening - at least not yet.

They are currently sitting in the 8th spot in the Western Conference with a 19-22 record. They are looking at the playoffs rather than acquiring a high-lottery pick. The Boston Celtics own the Grizzlies first rounder this year, top-6 protected. Most Celtics fans were hoping for Memphis to falter this season and walk away with one of the top-6 picks in the draft, thereby allowing Boston to acquire the Grizzlies first round pick, totally unprotected, in 2021.


Danny Ainge can blame super-rookie, Ja Morant, veteran center Jonas Valanciunas and former-Celtic, Jae Crowder for much of the disappointment. Crowder leads the Grizzlies in minutes with 30.2 MPG, averaging 10.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG. Jonas comes close to averaging a double-double in only 25 minutes/game (15.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG). Morant is having a terrific rookie season and is a front runner for the Rookie-of-the-Year award. Last night in a win over the Houston Rockets, he poured in 26 points on a remarkable 10-of-11 from the field, along with five rebounds and eight assists. This team is fun to watch, in large part because of Ja Morant.

That's not the whole story. The Grizzlies are very deep. They go with 12 players logging double-digit minutes, from Marko Guduric's 13.8 MPG to Crowder's 30.2 MPG. But it all starts with Morant. This kid is very impressive, and he does admittedly put on a show, but like Bob Cousy from decades ago, what he does wins games - just like last night.


This is very disappointing for the Celtics faithful. Getting a mid-teens pick in the first round of this year's draft is not good news. Brad Stevens is already having difficulty getting his young troops sufficient minutes.

NBA.Draft.Net's mock draft currently has USC PF/C Oneyeka Okongwu at #14 - Arizona SG Josh Green at #15 - and Arizona PF/C Zeke Nnagi at #16. This can all change by the end of the season, but that is doubtful. The Memphis pick is not the pot of gold that was expected. Oh, and the grizzlies have won their last six games. You see my point.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook







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