Michigan State Basketball: Xavier Tillman joining Jaren Jackson Jr. in Memphis

Former Michigan State basketball star Xavier Tillman was drafted by the Kings and was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies with the 35th overall pick.

The wait is finally over. Xavier Tillman is officially a pro, joining Jaren Jackson Jr. in Memphis after getting selected by the Sacramento Kings at No. 35 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Michigan State fans knew Tillman was good enough to go in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft but were hoping for another year of him in the green and white. Fans did, however, know that he was more than ready for that next level after winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award and making the all-conference team.

Now, he’s the newest member of the Grizzlies, joining a post with Jackson Jr. who was his teammate back in 2017-18.

In fact, that entire two-man 2017 recruiting class for Tom Izzo and Michigan State is now in Memphis and you know the Hall of Fame head coach is going to be getting plenty of tickets for Grizzlies games sent his way for the foreseeable future.

Tillman had one heck of a career at Michigan State, going from unheralded bench player as a freshman to toning up as a sophomore and junior and becoming the best defensive player in the Big Ten.

It was disappointing to see Tillman fall out of the first round, but he’s going to a young team with plenty of energy and excitement. Ja Morant and Jackson Jr. made up the young core and now Tillman joins the fold as an elite defender.

Memphis is getting a good one and he’ll be a fan favorite soon enough.