3. Memphis Grizzlies
After winning 33 games in 2018-19 following a season of significant change, the Memphis Grizzlies struck gold in landing the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. In addition to recently beginning the search for a new coach to replace the outgoing J.B. Bickerstaff, the Grizzlies also dealt away team stalwart and former All-Star center Marc Gasol, clearly signaling the change of direction for the franchise.
Moving forward with the No. 2 pick in stow and 31-year-old point guard Mike Conley with just two years remaining on his current deal, there are a number of avenues in which the Grizzlies can explore as it pertains to their immediate future and beyond.
One angle they could entertain is going all-in for the acquisition of a genuine superstar who could potentially lead the franchise for the next decade.
For the Sixers: Like any deal involving Embiid, this is extremely risky. Firstly, Conley represents a point guard with the ability to also play off the ball. While he has never been named to an All-Star team, Conley has been regarded as one of the more underrated players in the league for several years. Last season, Conley averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game while also averaging 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
While the initial transition phase of working alongside All-Star point guard Ben Simmons would naturally take some time, the possibilities are intriguing.
Additionally, the acquisition of Jaren Jackson Jr. represents something completely different. The No. 4 overall pick in 2018, Jackson quickly demonstrated that he possesses the qualities to make him a dominant modern-day big man. Not only does he protect the paint, averaging 1.4 blocks in just 26.1 minutes per game, but Jackson also demonstrated the ability to step out and hit the perimeter shot canning 35.9 percent of his outside looks.
At 6’11” and still just 19, Jackson averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 58 appearances. Notably, Jackson had 13 games of multiple triples and 20 games of multiple blocks, with his seven blocks against the New York Knicks the most recorded by a rookie since Kristaps Porzingis in 2015.
Furthermore, the Sixers welcome the fascinating prospect of possessing the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft on June 20. Granted, they can use the pick to select an elite young talent, they can also use it to package with one of their current players in a potential sign-and-trade deal that would undoubtedly wield an enormous amount of value.
For the Grizzlies: Put simply, Embiid puts the Grizzlies on the map. One of the most creative users of social media in the league, Embiid also saw his jersey rank No. 5 this past season on the best-sellers list. Additionally, the Sixers ranked fourth overall in team merchandise sales.
Additionally, according to Forbes, the Grizzlies recently ranked dead last in the latest NBA franchise valuations. Thus, while the cost of obtaining Embiid is certainly high, the opportunity to land a box-office name such as Embiid would be a very welcome addition for the Grizzlies for a number of reasons.
For the salary purposes of the deal, which works out financially on the ESPN Trade Machine, the Grizzlies also receive promising second-year guard Zhaire Smith, second-year forward Jonah Bolden, and forward Jonathon Simmons.