At the time of writing this piece, the Memphis Grizzlies have skyrocketed to the second seed in the West, but thanks to the underperforming Los Angeles Lakers, they may be in a position to get a lottery pick as well. In this case, they are selecting 11th overall, and with their pick, they select Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan.
Currently, the Grizzlies are slated to have three 1st round draft picks in the 2022 Draft, but I highly doubt they’ll choose to roster three rookies. If they were to keep this pick wherever it happens to land, though, I expect them to look for a high-IQ player that makes winning plays over all else, perhaps unless a consensus top-five to six pick falls to them.
For this reason, I think the Grizzlies would also take a long, hard look at someone like Tari Eason at 11th overall, but ultimately, it’s Sochan’s combination of youth, upside, and NBA readiness that will convince them to go in his direction.
At only 18 years old, Sochan has an incredible feel for the game, a high motor, positional versatility, and some self-creation potential off the bounce. I would see this selection as the Grizzlies finding a modern power forward that fits next to their young cornerstone pieces while also throwing it back a bit to their ‘Grit and Grind’ era.
While Sochan’s jump shot will need to come around for him to reach his potential, the Grizzlies have enough shooters already to the point that he wouldn’t need to rush his development in that area.
If Sochan can come in and make high-energy plays, make some good passes, and play good defense, he’d be a seamless fit in Memphis. While I can’t help but love the fit with this pick, being a fan of a different team in the Western Conference, this pick also scares me to my core.