NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 11: Jake LaRavia #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies brings the ball up the floor during a preseason game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on October 11, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. /

19. Memphis Grizzlies – Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons had something of a surprise season in 2021-22, with senior Alondes Williams and junior Jake LaRavia having standout years. Williams went undrafted and got a two-way deal, while LaRavia shot up draft boards to ultimately go 19th overall, one of the biggest surprises on draft night.

The book is yet to be written on LaRavia, but consider me skeptical that he makes it as a playoff-level rotation player. He’s a stretch-4 who is supposed to be enough of a passer to run offense through, while also spacing the court in pick-and-pop or spot-up actions. He rarely saw the court as a rookie on a Grizzlies team that could have used him, and his lack of athleticism or defensive impact erode his potential.

LaRavia may still put things together and become a knockdown shooter to the point that he makes it into a rotation, but right now he would drop out of the first round in a redraft. Walker Kessler would be a better big selection, and even Patrick Baldwin Jr. looks like a better bet to be a stretch-big with enough accompanying ability to make it in the NBA.

Grade: D+