The NBA Draft will happen tonight, starting at 6:00 PM local time. That means that the past few weeks of measurements, workouts, and interviews will finally pay off for most of the young men who are hoping to be on an NBA roster next season. Some teams will be looking to rebound from awful results by picking up a blue chip stud or two. Others will try to bolster their roster with the elusive missing piece. And some will just be making a myriad of moves that leaves you confused as to what exactly their intentions are.
So, what about the hometown Memphis Grizzlies? What will they do when things get cranked up tonight?
Some people are expecting them to make a big, big move by potentially trading away a starter like Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, or Mike Conley in order to move into the Top 5 and secure one of the talented top tier rookies. Others think that they’ll try to trade down or even outright sell their #25 pick, in order to get more salary cap space. And, of course, there is always the option that they’ll just stand pat and take the best player available when their selection comes around. Here’s what I think they’ll do…
First, they are going to hire a hypnotist. Then, they will have him — or her, because I’d be far more inclined to fall under the spell of a woman telling me to relax while waving a pocket watch in front of me than some weird guy — use the power of suggestion to convince the members of the Charlotte Bobcats front office (sorry Rich Cho) to trade the #2 pick and Byron “B.J.” Mullens for O.J. Mayo and Darrell Arthur in a sign-and-trade deal. We’ll throw in some BBQ to sweeten the deal — but no dry rub ribs. Also, just for fun, we’ll have the hypnotist work his (or her) magic on owner Michael Jordan so that he feels compelled to say “I’d have been nothing without B.J. Armstrong” whenever he hears the word “Air”.
Next, we’ll use the pick on Florida freshman guard Bradley Beal. By reputation, he’s one of the best shooters in the draft, so he can take over Mayo’s role as the primary bench scorer and perimeter threat. Finally, the Grizz will then trade the #25 pick and an assortment of Elvis memorabilia, Justin Timberlake CDs, and one mint condition Memphis Hound Dogs hat to Houston for Goran Dragic in another sign-and-trade deal. This will give them their much-needed backup point guard. Sounds good, right? If only I were an evil super genius, instead of a mischievous blogger — I’d make that happen.
Instead, the Grizzlies will most likely stick with 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 of Chris Wallace’s later draft selections. While Fournier doesn’t fill either of the big “needs” (backup point guard or outside shooter), talent trumps need in the draft game — and by all accounts, Fournier has lottery pick level talent.
Of course, I could be completely wrong and Chris Wallace and the rest of the front office might pull a gigantic rabbit out of the hat tonight. They might shock all of us, like we were when Shane Battier was traded for the rights to Rudy Gay. Or they might disappoint us by selling the pick in a money move, which is possible given the potential sale of the team. Or they might engage in multiple trades that will make former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard cry out for copyright infringement. Who knows? That’s the joy of it — you’re constantly on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next. And that’s what makes draft night so magical.