Caught up in the 2014 NBA Draft whirlwind, I got the chance to sit in on a few of the media scrums around Green Room invites; some realistic targets within the Grizzlies’ range, and others just downright interesting to listen to. As the day progresses, I’ll be dropping a few little nuggets from these encounters.
Our final plunge is with national champion Shabazz Napier from Connecticut, who you can read about in depth here.
Position: Point Guard
The notion of Shabazz sent shockwaves through the Twitterverse yesterday when rumbles had surfaced that the tectonic plates of the Miami Heat have displayed interest in trading into the first round to snag the NCAA tournament MVP to head their backcourt. As a two-time NCAA champion, it’s no surprise that the only NBA team to win two titles within the same window would be intrigued by the idea of adding him to their formula — especially at a position of need, given the deficiencies they’d experienced at the point guard spot in the Finals this year.
With 20 prospects this season taking a trip to the draft as Green Room invitees, it is more than plausible that one or more will fall to the Grizzlies’ pick at number 22. As the only Green Room guy to have worked out with the Grizz, I asked Napier what he would tell any of these guys (or himself for that matter) that fell to the range about the organization. He was quick to praise the defensive culture in Memphis, noting that they’ve been a “top five in defense the last three or four years.” You can check his response out at the tail end of the audio, as well as catch him getting introspective regarding the impact he’s had on others in his hometown and discussing the mentoring he’s received as a four-year player at a top-flight university.
Be sure to check back shortly to prep for tonight’s draft with the 3 Shades of Blue Master Big Board, and give me a shout on Twitter @StevieDanziger for some live Draft Day coverage!