After making the playoffs for seven straight seasons, the Grizz fell on hard times this year as the Grit 'N Grind era officially came to a close. A season-ending injury to Mike Conley left Memphis in a losing spiral, and it ended up with a 22-60 record, which earned the franchise the No. 4 pick in the draft. However, leading up to next Thursday, Memphis is exploring trade options for that pick, provided that the other team is willing to take on Chandler Parsons' contract. Via The Athletic's Michael Scotto:
The Memphis Grizzlies have gauged the trade market on a package of Chandler Parsons and the No. 4 overall pick, league sources told The Athletic.
Parsons, who has missed 94 combined games over the past two seasons, is owed $49.2 million guaranteed over the next two seasons.
Once considered one of the best two-way wings in the league, Parsons has fallen off a cliff during his two seasons in Memphis due in large part to repeated injuries. Even when he's been on the court, he's been underwhelming, averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game. The Grizzlies took a gamble signing Parsons, who had already dealt with injury issues in Dallas, and it's now fair to say that the contract is a complete disaster.
So it makes sense that they'd try to unload him on a willing buyer, but is it worth the No. 4 pick? Obviously it depends on what the Grizzlies would receive in return, but it would have to be a young, established player to pair with Marc Gasol and a (hopefully) healthy Conley.
Should the Grizzlies decide to keep their pick, however, they are reportedly considering Michael Porter Jr. despite the Missouri product's health concerns.
The Kings aren’t the only top five team wrestling with the Michael Porter Jr. question: I’m told the Grizzlies are still seriously considering him at No. 4 - health concerns and all - after today’s medical display for lottery teams. Like Sacto, trading down is a possibility too.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 16, 2018
Since this is considered to be a deep draft, another option would be to trade Parsons and No. 4 for a lower pick, perhaps in the 10-14 range. That way Memphis could still build for the future, while shedding a salary that severely limits their options moving forward. We'll have to keep an eye on the Grizzlies as next Thursday's draft draws closer.