NBA Rumors: Why Grizzlies Prefer Celtics Take Their Draft Pick Sooner, Not Later


April 4, 2019

The Memphis Grizzlies just want to get their draft pick saga over with.

The Boston Celtics will own the Grizzlies’ first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft if the upcoming lottery pegs the selection outside the top eight picks, thanks to a complex trade the teams made four-plus years ago. If that doesn’t happen, the Grizzlies’ pick will go to Boston next year, but protection will apply just to the top six slots. If Memphis holds on to the pick next summer, the trade will apply in 2021 with no protections.

An NBA source told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach on Thursday the Grizzlies would prefer to send their pick to the Celtics this year, instead of one of the two subsequent years. Here’s why:

“Memphis would like to ship the pick to Boston this season because of the uncertainty as pick protections lighten, and to have some clarity as it moves forward with its own plans,” Himmelsbach wrote.

The Grizzlies currently are 31-47 and are winding down a disappointing season, which started with high hopes but ultimately veered toward a roster rebuilding operation. Himmelsbach in his article details the numerous scenarios, which might play out over the last week of the regular season far better than we ever could in this space. At its simplest, the Grizzlies are trying to plan for a brighter future, but the uncertainty over their pick is clouding their forecast.

Meanwhile Himmelsbach offers two good reasons why the Celtics would rather the Grizzlies keep their pick this year.

“Within the Celtics? front office, the preference is for the pick to roll over for at least another year, partly because the protections lighten, and partly because it gives them another shiny trade asset to dangle for a superstar such as Anthony Davis,” Himmelsbach writes.

The Celtics, Grizzlies and rest of the NBA must wait until May 14 when the lottery determines the fate of this heavily scrutinized draft pick.

While the draft order gets sorted out, bet on NBA spreads at

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