MEMPHIS, Tenn — Jake LaRavia wasn't just worth a first-round pick. The way the Memphis Grizzlies saw it, he was worth two of them.
The Grizzlies moved the 22nd and 29th picks in Thursday's NBA draft to Minnesota for the 19th pick — which became LaRavia, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Wake Forest, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not yet approved by the league.
Auburn's Walker Kessler was the No. 22 pick, and Kentucky's TyTy Washington was the No. 29 pick — both of those players heading to Minnesota, the person said, pending the league's trade call.
It was all part of a busy night of movement for the Grizzlies, who also obtained the rights to No. 23 pick David Roddy from Philadelphia as part of another trade. Roddy and injured veteran guard Danny Green were sent to Memphis for De'Anthony Melton, another person with direct knowledge of the matter told AP.
LaRavia, who graduated from Lawrence Central High School, started his college career at Indiana State before transferring to Wake Forest. His transition to the ACC improved his play, averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season, along with 1.7 steals.
LaRavia shot 56% overall from the field, including 38% last season for the Demon Deacons.
The Grizzlies made great strides last season moving up from making the postseason after a play-in tournament in 2021 to the second-best record in the league this past season at 56-26. Memphis was eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by Golden State, the eventual NBA champions.
And some of last season’s success was done without first-time All-Star and leading scorer Ja Morant, who missed 25 games during the regular season with injuries.
Memphis went 20-5 in those games, a testament to the team’s chemistry and depth.