2014 NBA Draft: Memphis Grizzlies Cannot Afford To Give Up Pick To Unload Tayshaun Prince

By Nathan Grubel
Tayshaun Prince
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA draft certainly has enough drama around it based on the prospects available, but now that teams have been dealing players left and right, it seems that GMs around the league cannot get enough of the frenzy — so much so that the Memphis Grizzlies are now rumored to be a part of the trading action.

It has been rumored by multiple sources Thursday morning that the Grizzlies may look to trade Tayshaun Prince to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for John Salmons and the No. 37 overall pick. Oh, by the way, the Grizzlies would have to throw in their No. 22 pick in the draft.

Wait, what?

The Grizzlies would trade out of the first round of one of the deepest drafts in a decade in order to unload the contract of  Prince? Yes, I am shocked too. The Grizzlies may be trying to get this deal done in order to create cap space to sign another veteran to come in and help the team make a title run, but why should the team pass up the chance to grab a prospect who can help them with a need and be an immediate contributor off the bench?

There are plenty of worthy prospects who should be available when the Grizzlies make their selection, including some who have multiple years of experience and would fill the biggest need the Grizzlies have on the team: shooting.

Players like P.J. Hairston, Cleanthony Early and Adreian Payne could all potentially be available at No. 22, and all three players have multiple years of NCAA experience and have led teams to great runs in the tournament while arguably being the best player on those teams.

Hairston is a knockdown shooter who also possesses great athleticism, and has the size and length to be able to defend both shooting guards and small forwards in the NBA. Early is a sweet-shooting small forward who has a variety of moves to score at multiple spots on the floor, including mid-range and from beyond the three point line. Payne is the best stretch power forward in the entire draft, with the ability to hit jump shots as well as bang down low with opposing big men.

All three players could play an important part in the Grizzlies’ immediate and long-term future, and there is no reason for the team to throw away the opportunity to bring in one of these guys who could impact the game right away.

Unless the Grizzlies feel they have a real shot at bringing in an impact guy such as Luol Deng or Pau Gasol, then the Grizzlies should just bite the bullet on Prince and keep their draft pick. Teams are getting younger and more athletic, and the Grizzlies should want to keep up, especially in a Western Conference that is loaded with young talent.

Do everyone a favor Memphis, and keep the pick.

Nathan Grubel is a Memphis Grizzlies writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @The_Only_Grubes, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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