As much as Ja Morant’s ascension toward stardom has been quick, Memphis doesn’t exactly bring the same type of buzz to Boston as the Lakers, Bucks or Sixers. But, the Celtics and Grizzlies are tied to one another, thanks to that once heavily coveted pick.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Memphis is still a playoff team in Western Conference, so Boston’s Grizzlies pick still falls outside of the lottery for the 2020 NBA draft and would convey. San Antonio is right on Memphis’ heels in the ninth spot.
The Blazers and Suns are each two games behind the Grizzlies, as well. Though neither team has momentum like Memphis or San Antonio.
Phoenix does, however, face the Grizzlies after their trip to Detroit, which follows Wednesday’s game. If the Suns are actually trying to make the playoffs, this matchup is huge for them. So, the Celtics could be the catalyst to set off a chain of events that leads to some slippage on Memphis’ part. Then the young talent has to respond to adversity with expectations mounting and the Spurs surging.
Every little bit counts with how tight things from the No. 8 team in the West to the No. 11 team. Even the Pelicans (No. 12) are 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies — and they finally get to see Zion Williamson play on Wednesday.
At this point, moving the pick, for help now, seems like the best course of action for the Celtics — given it’s still their best pick of the three they have (their own and Milwaukee’s). But that doesn’t seem likely at this stage.
Even if the Grizzlies drop off significantly in the next week, the upcoming check-in on Memphis’ standing will include some names the Celtics could take with this pick.