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With the draft quickly approaching, we here at 3 Shades of Blue figured it was time to start taking a closer look at the players that the Grizzlies might be interested in at their current draft position in the #25 spot. Now, through multiple conversations over the past few years with Grizzlies’ VP Chris Wallace, we have a pretty good idea of what he’s looking for when it comes to evaluating talent — especially late in the first round. The key word there is “Talent”, because drafting for need is almost never a good idea in the NBA. This is definitely the case when dealing with a first-round pick that will receive a guaranteed contract.

So…Evan Fournier, huh?

I know, you don’t know much about him. Join the club. He’s the ever-elusive European prospect that most of us haven’t had a chance to see on our television screens the way we do with the top collegiate players year in and year out. Because of that, evaluating players from overseas requires a certain level of reading between the statistical lines.

Fournier is a talented offensive player, although his jump shot is still somewhat suspect.  He’s very effective when slashing to the basket or in transition. His decision-making has improved in his two years with the professional French team, Poitiers. He has a great knack for making plays and creating opportunities for himself and his teammates, as well. With his good size (6’7″, 205 lbs.) , solid frame, and above average athleticism, Fournier is certainly a candidate to blossom into a quality NBA player as he continues to mature. Oh, that’s right…he’s only 19 right now.

On defense, Fournier is capable, although his role as the primary scorer lends itself to him slacking off on the other end of the floor at times. He has the size and athletic ability to be a good defender, so it will really just be a matter of him applying himself consistently.

The biggest knock on Fournier is his suspect jump shot and the shot selection that goes with it. Too often, he settles for jumpers when he probably should either continue his drive to the hoop or dish off to a teammate. He’ll need to both rein in that habit, while continuing to improve on his shooting at the same time. If there is one thing that has been proven time and again, it is that you can become a better shooter if you’re willing to work on it…and your name isn’t Ben Wallace.

For the Grizzlies, Fournier is an attractive pick based on his high upside and killer instinct. Like Will Barton, he doesn’t fill a need, but could make other players expendable so that they could be traded to fill needs. The fact that he might not come to America immediately isn’t seen as a negative either, as it could help with some pressing salary cap issues. I’m leaning towards him being the front-runner if the Grizzlies stay at #25 tomorrow night.

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6 Responses to 3SOB Draft Spotlight: Evan Fournier

  1. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    I just read an article that says the Clippers are looking to get Lamar Odom, interesting thing is that the clips apperently need to find a team that will take Mo Williams of their hands…..his player option is around 8.5 Million. I dont know about you guys, but I think having Mo around to come off the bench, which he does not seem to have a problem with, is a great idea, I mean the guy averaged 13.6 ppg coming off the bench, which is a nice number for a backup. Then there is also JR Smith, the guy’s salary is cheap for his skills, but that is because he has a bad attitude. but I also heard about bad attitudes when it came to Z-BO and Mo Speights, so maybe JR would fit in here. Just some thoughts, I would like to hear everyone’s feedback on this

  2. TerryNo Gravatar says:

    Wouldn’t mind having Mo here, but who are we giving up to bring him in? 8.5 mil is a lot for a back-up gaurd, nearly what we pay for both starting gaurds combined (~9.5 mil), and I doubt it would happen since it is said that we are not going over the luxury tax. I like JR but think he is too streaky of a shooter and hasn’t seen too many shots that he did not want to take. He has potential to shoot his team into a victory or shoot his team into a loss on any given night. If signed what would be the odds of Hollins letting him just go out and shoot every night to see which JR shows up?

  3. […] their #25 pick and take the best player available, which I project to be international prospect, Evan Fournier. This is probably the smart pick late in the first round, as it is low risk, high reward, like most […]

  4. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    Re: Evan Fournier… not NEARLY enough help right away to be ideal, but upside, age, and cap friendliness make him the odds-on favorite. This pick practically screams “San Antonio Spurs” — and they are as good a franchise to immolate as any.

    Re: Mo Williams… if you read between the lines of his agent’s comments, he’s looking to start again. Kudos to Mo for being professional about his lost PT and continuing to contribute but I believe he would feel very different about coming off the bench to spell Conley than he would CP3. He’d be a nice add but this is exactly the kind of transaction (major acquisition / going over the cap) that will not happen while the ownership is in transition.

    • JoelNo Gravatar says:

      about Mo, yeah I agree, and besides the reports are saying he is moving to the Jazz, which also means the Clips have added Odom. I am officialy nervous for the Grizz, the Clips are on the up swing, and we all know where the Thunder are right now…

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