The Memphis Grizzlies are facing a side effect of having one of the highest regular-season winning percentages in the NBA as they prepare for the draft. The Grizzlies have a late first-round draft pick. Since the No. 25 pick is far less likely to yield a solid pro player than a lottery pick is, Chris Wallace would be wise to shop the pick.
Indeed, players who are projected to go in the first 14 picks have their share of question marks. Jeremy Lamb doesn't select shots well. Andre Drummond doesn't play physical ball.
Still, questions about whether a player projected to the last 10 picks of the first round can succeed in the pros are louder. Tony Wroten turns the ball over a ton and is one-dimensional offensively. Perry Jones, who has dropped far down draft boards, has a questionable motor.
The Grizzlies can't be certain about the possibility of prospects like Wroten and Jones to become reliable players for at least four years.
With that said, they should explore trading the pick for a pro player who they can be fairly certain can be a quality player.
One must keep in mind that the Grizzlies don't have a great amount of money available to spend before hitting the luxury tax threshold.
Also, the Grizzlies would likely be looking for a bench player since they're set in the starting lineup with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Tony Allen and Mike Conley. Areas of need on the bench include a backup center and a scorer.
With O.J. Mayo unlikely to re-sign with Memphis, the team could try to find an affordable replacement. One option is trading the pick to the Brooklyn Nets, which don't have a first-round pick, for Anthony Morrow.
Should the Grizzlies trade their first-round pick?
Morrow is already establishing himself as one of the best three-point shooters in the game. He's a career 42.6 percent three-point shooter.
Overall, the four-year pro is a nice scorer. This season, he averaged 12 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting. He's a career 45.1 percent shooter from the field. He shot 93.3 percent from the free-throw line.
He also is a reliable ball-handler. The Charlotte native had a nine percent turnover rate this season and has turned it over in just 8.8 percent of his possessions in his career.
Morrow is relatively affordable, holding a $4 million salary for 2012-13. The Grizzlies were rumored by The Commercial Appeal to be interested in him in January, and they should take another look at him before the draft.
Winning at least one NBA title in the next three years is a must for the Grizzlies. To win one next season is surely the ultimate goal since the contract of Tony Allen, their defensive leader, expires after this season. Thus, acquiring a player who can make an immediate impact is of utmost importance.
Obtaining such a player is more likely by trading the pick for an affordable established player or rising talent is more likely than doing so by using the draft pick.