Can Memphis Grizzlies ace the NBA draft again under GM Zach Kleiman?

It’s going to be harder now.

Now that Golden State let the entire league know, through its post-championship obsession with calling out Memphisthat these Grizzlies are viewed as a serious contender moving forward.

Now that Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman is the youngest person to be named the NBA’s executive of the year.

Now that he has been the team’s top decision maker long enough to develop some patterns and tendenciesperhaps none more successful or pronounced than his annual trades to move up in the NBA draft.

Now that the third first-round draft pick Memphis had this year never materialized because the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make the playoffs.

Now that the Grizzlies hit on so many draft picks in a row, they might just be due to not get one right.

But Thursday’s NBA Draft (7 pm CT, ABC/ESPN) still might be the easiest way for them to get where they want to go. They’ve aced this test before. Maybe they just do it again.

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The path from 56 wins and a second-round playoff exit to the NBA Finals – the next part of this journey with Kleiman, coach Taylor Jenkins, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the rest of this young Memphis nucleus – is about to begin revealing itself. What the Grizzlies look like once the draft is over, and perhaps what the rest of the league looks like, will bring the rest of this offseason into focus.