With less than 20 games left in a now-lost season, let’s address the team’s new goal for the remaining games: “Convey the pick.”
In short, Memphis owes a draft pick to Boston – one that only goes up in value if the Grizzlies can’t finish this season with a better record than at least eight other teams. If Memphis wins enough games, they transfer the pick and move on with their rebuild.
So the question is: How many games do the Grizzlies (24-39) have to win to convey the pick? And can they do it while Jaren Jackson Jr. and others heal from various injuries?
Last season it took 29 wins for the New York Knicks to be the ninth worst team in the league. In other recent years, it’s taken 33 wins. So it’s safe to say that the Grizz need at least 5-6 wins in the next 19 games to meet their goal. Let’s see what the remaining schedule looks like:
Likely losses (7):
Teams: Golden State (twice), OKC (twice) Houston, Portland (twice),
These are the top four teams in the Western Conference, including three matches against conference finalists (GSW and HOU). And the Rockets, Blazers and Thunder are all jockeying for playoff position. The Grizz won’t be favored to win any of these.
Likely wins (3):
Teams: Phoenix, Atlanta, Washington
Phoenix and Atlanta have been bad all season. Washington might be the most dysfunctional team outside of Memphis and Los Angeles, and that was before John Wall was ruled out for the season. If the Grizzlies play hard they should win these three.
Up for grabs (8):
Teams: Utah, Orlando (twice), Dallas (three games), L.A. Clippers and Detroit.
Utah and the Clippers are still in the playoff hunt and will be hungry. Same for Detroit and Orlando, who is suddenly one of the hottest teams in the league. The three games with Dallas become crucial.
Between good teams fighting for playoff positioning and bad teams tanking, getting to at least 30 wins is certainly doable.
Especially if Jackson heals up in enough time to help make the push.