2022 NBA Draft: Who we took for the Grizzlies in SB Nation’s mock draft

Each year, SB Nation puts together a community mock draft featuring bloggers from all team blogs with first-round picks. This year is my first as a site manager and these exercises are always cool to show the different avenues each team could take.

For the Memphis Grizzlies, I wanted to use these 2 first-round picks (22 and 29) to add depth. In doing so, I have followed both directions that Zach Kleiman and Co. have taken in the last 3 drafts. One choice would be the underrated upperclassman sliding down boards due to his age and physical limitations (like wingspan) and the other would be an upside swing.

Let’s start with the 22nd selection.

With the 22nd pick in the SB Nation 2022 NBA mock draftthe Memphis Grizzlies choose Dalen Terry, University of Arizona

Here is my rationale for the choice:

The Memphis Grizzlies could lose both Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson in free hands, and they could use the draft to replace either player. How about someone who could possibly replace both of them? Terry won’t be able to fill that role right away, and they could bring back both free agents on last-minute deals in the meantime. Nonetheless, he has versatile skills as a 6ft 7in combo guard.

Terry fits a lot with the team’s philosophy. With his 7ft 0in wingspan, his defensive impact runs deep – he jumps in the fast lane to make turnovers, an area where the Grizzlies thrive. Taylor Jenkins also wants to have as many playmakers on the floor as possible, and they were experimenting with lineups without a traditional point guard when Ja Morant was injured. Dalen Terry fits seamlessly into this system with his playmaking skills and pick and roll potential. His offense can also make another leap and show promising shooting at the end of the season.

For the 22nd pick, there aren’t many upside plays better than Dalen Terry here.

The counting statistics will not excite anyone. In his sophomore season last year, he averaged 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 50.2% from the field, 36.4% from 3 and 73.6% from the free throw line. He had two other potential first-round picks with me, including potential top-10 pick Bennedict Mathurin as top scorer.

The raw numbers don’t tell the story with Terry. He is a great Guardian who plays with an infectious energy. He skips fast lanes, flies in transition and finds his teammates with nasty passes.

Terry has a baseline as a sticky guy, something he mentioned several times in his combine interview with former ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz. His skills suggest he could be even more than that type of role player. At 6’7″ tall and 7’1″ wingspan, he has the versatility and ball skills to start the offense or complement another primary ball handler – in this case, Ja Morant. He should also slip through and defend positions 1-4 while wreaking havoc.

With the Grizzlies entering this offseason, a roster change is highly likely. Both Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones enter the free hand. Then both De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks are the team’s two most likely trade candidates. Terry is an option who could step in from the bench to give doses of what Anderson, Jones and Melton have provided. Playmaking with size was a priority for this Grizzlies front office and for Taylor Jenkins’ system. Dalen Terry would make it a T as a versatile big guard who plays on both sides of the ball.

Looking up outside of the lottery, Dalen Terry immediately springs to mind. With his combination of interesting skills, versatility, and energy, Terry has one of the best chances of anyone outside of the lottery to be a top five player in this draft class. Outside shooting is a big swing ability here – although he shot 46.5% from 3 in the last 18 games of the season. At 22nd pick, for a team with their foundations, they can afford to bet on an intriguing pick like Dalen Terry.

With the 29th pick in the 2022 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies selected Christian Braun from the University of Kansas

More on my rationale for choosing Braun:

Let’s move on to the other side of the Memphis Grizzlies’ brand: the older college prospect who slips into the draft due to physical limitations or age. Kansas’ Christian Braun is a fiery competitor who fits the culture of this Memphis Grizzlies team. He’s a resolute defender who can defend 1-3 positions and has a decent rebound for his size. Offensively, he’s a versatile scorer that fits plug and play – very good to excellent ratings in transition (1.187 PPP), pick and roll handling (0.904 PPP), average (1.262 PPP) and Handoff Efficiency (1.086 PPP) per Synergy Sports. For a team looking to contend for a championship next season, Christian Braun is the type of rookie who can take the call next season when his number is called – while still having the luxury of playing his game in the G- to round off the league.

That’s really why I want the Grizzlies to vote for Christian Braun.

But seriously…

Christian Braun is likely to slip due to his age (21 years) and wingspan (6’7″ by 6’6.5″ wingspan), which again could be in the Memphis Grizzlies’ favor. He was a key component in the Jayhawks’ title run. He was a great sidekick for Ochai Agbaji on the wing – he served as a 3-D glue.

Brown also fits the Grizzlies’ philosophy. He is an ultimate competitor who is a good shooter, passer and defender. In his last 3 years in Kansas, he shot 37.8% of 3 – while last season he shot 38.6% of 3 on 3.3 attempts per game. He also improved his playmaking, increasing his assist average from 1.9 to 2.8 from his sophomore through junior seasons. Its size on the wing and ferocity also make it an asset on defense.

With his scoring benchmarks mentioned above, it underscores Braun’s scalability as he transitions to a role player with minimal scoring responsibilities. He could fit into any role. On this Grizzlies team, he will likely rotate between the main roster and Southaven. Like John Konchar last year, he should be a solid contingency role player when it comes to injuries throughout the regular season.

Christian Braun could be another older, overlooked draft prospect who shines in his role with the Memphis Grizzlies.

In that mock draft exercise, the Memphis Grizzlies walked away with an upswing and an older prospect — and both players could be factors in the Grizzlies’ rotation plans for next season. Both Terry and Braun add depth to the perimeter, particularly at points 2 and 3. They both also attract players with versatile, selfless skills – something that will resonate very well in this organization.

2 more days until we see how this all materializes. Can’t wait to see how it goes down.

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