With the draft arriving in only two days, pre-draft workouts 5 and 6 were highly important. The Grizzlies got their last look at any potential players and are now fully in deliberation mood. Days 5 and 6 saw nine different plays hit the Grizzlies practice court. Marquis Teague and Tony Wroten Jr., the two highest ranked players to visit Memphis this week, had less than stellar performances, could it affect their viability for the Grizzlies?
The players who worked out this week were:
Kevin Jones, Senior, West Virginia, Power Forward
Kris Joseph, Senior, Syracuse, Small Forward
Cameron Tatum, Senior, Tennessee, Guard/Forward
Tony Wroten Jr., Freshman, Washington, Point Guard
Maurice Bolden, Junior, Southern Mississippi, Forward
Terrance Henry, Senior, Mississippi, Power forward
Josh Magette, Senior, Alabama-Huntsville, Guard
Greg Mangano, Senior, Yale, Power forward
Marquis Teague, Freshman, Kentucky, Point Guard
Draft workout 5
Pros- Jones has a fairly good mid-range jumper, which helps him expand his range as a power forward. He is fast for his size and weight and did fairly well when chasing down the ball in transition style drills. He made a high percentage of free throws and was efficient at finishing around the rim.
Cons- Jones was not a good passer and showed that he is not a consistent three-point shooter. He plays average defense and would not be able to keep up with other power forwards on the defensive end.
Conclusion: Although Jones may have a future in the NBA; it will most likely not be with the Grizzlies. The team is already stacked at power forward, and would simply not need Jones.
Pros- Joseph had the best jumper of the group, and he consistently made shots from beyond the arc. Joseph showed athleticism and poise in transition, and his mid-range jumper is pure and high arching. He was a good free throw shooter and passed the ball well. He finished well around the net.
Cons- Although Joseph was able to hit almost all of his shots when unguarded, he started to miss more frequently with a defender in his face. Joseph was not especially strong at cutting through traffic to reach the rim, and often turned the ball over in these situations.
Conclusion- Joseph is a strong player with a future from the NBA, but he is not ready to make a strong contribution right now. If the Grizzlies were to draft him, he would sit below both Gay and Pondexter at SF and would need serious development.
Pros- Clearly an effort player and a leader on the court, Tatum was encouraging his fellow prospects through the entire workout. Tatum was a shot consistently from everywhere on the court and was capable of getting to the rim.
Cons- Tatum is clearly not ready to play NBA level defense, and there are concerns about him being athletic enough to compete in the NBA. He seems too frenzied on defense and this lets quick players fly by him.
Conclusion- It is shame Tatum is not more athletic, because he is a high character glue-type player who could provide a catalyst off the bench.
Pros- Wroten came into the workout as the highest ranked prospect. He plays good defense and has the ability to develop it further. An explosive player with good court vision, Wroten could distribute the ball well and could help the team function while Mike Conley is not playing. Wroten was also quick and made strong cuts to the basket in two-on-two drills.
Cons- Wroten shot the ball terribly at the workout. Although he doesn’t need to put up 20+ points a night, Wroten needs to improve his shot if he has a chance of making an impact on an NBA team.
Conclusion- Wroten has many of the skills the Grizzlies are looking for: strong passing, court vision, and high-level defense. He also lacks something the Grizzlies would love in a point guard, outside shooting. Wroten would make a good back up for Mike Conley if he fixes his shot and becomes someone who can consistently shoot from different locations across the court.
Draft Workout 6
Pros- Bolden is a good passer for a forward, which could translate to a good inside-outside game for the Grizz. He played well in transition and was good defense, especially in the paint.
Cons/Conclusion- Bolden just simply isn’t ready for the NBA. Although he is good at many things, he never excelled. The NBA is for players who excel, and Bolden needs another year at school to hone his craft.
Pros-Henry is a good power forward who plays aggressively in the paint. He is able to elevate well around the rim and finished in transition with ease. Although he did not show the three well, he has a good midrange jumper.
Cons- Henry shot shaky free throws and does not have the ability to defend around the rim. Although he occasionally passed well, it was not his strong suit.
Conclusion- Much like Jones, henry is a good player that the Grizzlies don’t need to pursue. The Grizz have to many good power forwards to go after one in the draft.
Pros: A fairly unknown player, Magette shot very well, so much so that at times it seemed like he would never miss. He was also a good passer and took patient free throws.
Cons- Magette plays his size. At only 6 foot 1 inch, he is already undersized, and doesn’t have the game to compensate. Players like Chris Paul make you forget about their size as they slice their way to the hoop or hit yet another three pointer, and Magette just doesn’t do this.
Conclusion- Magette is too small for the NBA. He plays a good game that was clearly successful at the college level, but he doesn’t have the skills of Chris Paul.
Pros- Mangano is a good power forward who uses his height and weight well in the paint. With a high-arching euro style jumper, Mangano is able to shoot well in the half-court with consistency.
Cons- Mangano needs to work on his passing game and defense to be able to have a presence in the NBA. Although he has the strength to defend, he lacks the agility to follow quick guards and small forwards as they cut towards the basket.
Conclusion- Once again, Mangano is a good player but simply not one the grizzlies need.
Pros- Teague has excellent court vision and was the head point guard for the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats. He is an athletic specimen and with some work will have the ability to defend NBA guards. Teague played well is transition and never shied away from contact when going into the paint.
Cons- Teague was a very disappointing shooter, making only 11% of his shots on an around the horn drill. Although Teague would not need to be the Grizzlies biggest scoring threat, they would need some offense from him. Although his shot is not broken, it will need serious time to improve.
Conclusion- Although Teague has a great upside and would not need to be developed as much as Josh Shelby, this did not show at the Grizzlies workout. If he plays as well as he did today, he will not be getting significant minutes anywhere any time soon.
Although draft workouts 5 and 6 answered many questions, they also asked some new ones. What should the Grizzlies think when the two best point guards they have seen perform so terribly? Why were they looking at so many power forwards? Is Marquis Teague the player he is being sold as? All these questions will be answered come Thursday.