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I should start by saying I am not against Wroten in any way.

He seems like a good player who definitely has a chance to make it iI should n the NBA. Despite this, I think the Grizzlies could have come out of the 2012 draft with much more than a backup for Mike Conley.

First, is this filling a need for the Grizzlies? Having someone capable of spelling Mike Conley is definitely high on Grizzlies need list but is it the primary need? With 2 more young PG’s needing playing time to develop already on the roster what will a rookie point guard who has

Second, was he the best player on the board at that time? That is the big question after all. Chris Wallace himself has said numerous times that you draft for talent and use trades and free agency to fill needs.  Wroten is far from a lock to succeed in the NBA. He has a terrible outside shot, turns the ball over way too much and has been described as a team chemistry killer.

In my opinion there were three ways in which the Grizzlies could have improved their draft day results.

1. Draft Arnett Moultrie. Moultrie had slipped significantly in the draft despite his initial predictions to go somewhere in the top 20. Moultrie would have been a great pickup for the Grizzlies. He is an effective rebounder who can cut to the basket with ease. His size allows him to play multiple positions, and he is an excellent 3-point shooter (44% last season with Mississippi State). Moultrie stretches the floor and could get Gasol and Randolph more open looks in the paint. Also, if you plug in Moultrie at power forward, you can let go of Cunningham, Arthur, or Speights. The money the Grizzlies would have saved would have let them go after Ray Allen or another veteran shooter with more money in hand.

2. Package the pick, O.J. Mayo with a restricted contract, and a non-Zach Randolph PF for a veteran shooter with 2 or 3 years left on his contract. While the may be a little bit crazy, it would have given the Grizzlies the fire power they need while freeing up some room in the payroll. Use the money the Grizzlies save to snatch up a point guard that went undrafted, and then let Selby and Conley work together to improve their chemistry in the backcourt while slowly letting the new point guard assimilate himself with the Grizz.

3. Don’t draft Tony Wroten Jr. Yes, Wroten has shown that he has the potential to become a player of Rajon Rondo’s caliber. But right now he is very far from that. Although Rondo has produced some of the flashiest assists and passes the NBA has ever seen, he is also a terrific ball handler who uses the players around him to create open looks. Wroten seems to always be looking for the fancy pass, which makes him prone to turnovers. In the Grizzlies pre-draft workout, Wroten seemed focused on showing off, not working his hardest. In reality, his shot was horrible and when he wasn’t making terrific passes (not often), he was a mediocre college point guard. The pundits are calling Wroten a dark horse for a reason.

So what did the Grizzlies get in the 2012 draft? Did they get a player ready to contribute to a playoff caliber team? No. Did they get a player that was the best talent left on the board? Probably not considering Perry Jones was still available as well as Moutrie.

It appears what the Grizzlies did was take a pick that needs to develop under a Head Coach not  widely respected as a developer of young point guards. Hopefully it works out for the Grizzlies but this pick left many more questions than answers.



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12 Responses to Against Tony Wroten

  1. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    Where to begin… 1) So, the solution to a team with too many PGs drafting a PG is for the same team who hss too many PFs to draft another PF? Not logical. And Ray Allen wasn’t coming to Memphis for ANY amount of money so bringing him up as some sort of alternative is worthless. 2) Great idea!I can’t believe Wallace didn’t think of that?!?! (Note: Sarcasm = ON) Unless the author is prepared to mention a couple of players who fit the bill on teams he believes would be interested in that deal its really not much of an alternative. BTW, that deal can still happen RIGHT NOW, regardless of the drafting of Wroten so, again, a week argument against the pick. 3)”With the 25th pick the Memphis Grizzlies select Not Tony Wroten, Jr.” This is literally not even an alternative, its really more like part two of #1. The thing is, an open-minded Griz fan could legitimately make the case for drafting players who were still on the board over Wroten… but those cases weren’t made with this post.

    • andrew.berryNo Gravatar says:

      1. Moultrie doesn’t play traditional power forward. One of the things draft experts were concerned about was how Moultrie spent too much time on the perimeter in college. So although he is a PF, he is very different from a Zach Randolph and actually plays like a SF. Please notice that I said “ Ray Allen or another veteran shooter,” meaning that many veteran shooters could fill the bill. I used Ray Allen’s name because he is the first notable three point-shooting veteran to be traded this off-season. The fact that the Grizzlies could have saved a boatload of money by getting rid of some of their PFs still stands true.
      2. Thank you for alerting me that you had turned your sarcasm “on.” You are just so witty and tongue and cheek! The key to point 2 was that the Grizzlies package their pick with other assets, meaning that this trade actually cannot still occur. I was planning to put up a post later this week that would cover a lot of the trade options for the Grizz, so maybe you should be patient.
      3. And fine. Draft Perry Jones III, draft Arnett Moultrie as I already said, draft Marquis Teague, draft Jeff Taylor, draft Draymond Green, draft hometown hero Will Barton. But why did we draft a point guard who looked bored during his Grizzlies pre-draft workout, can’t shoot to save his life, and frustrates fans more with his turnovers that he excites them with his flashy passes?

      • ChrisNo Gravatar says:


        Andy’s critique below says everything I was trying to convey in a more even-handed tone so I’ll primarily defer to his post and simply add that your original piece would have been well-served if the points you make in your reply were included originally (although I STILL don’t see the plethora of veteran SGs that fit our needs at the right price).

        The only point I will debate is that, for #2, a 2013 pick can be substituted which is why the “right now” is, in fact, still in play.

  2. LouisNo Gravatar says:

    Boom! Haha. I’ll give Andrew this… I do agree that we made a ” need > talent” pick by taking wroten. If we were picking the most talented player on the board we would have taken perry jones even though his motivation is suspect.

  3. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know enough about Wroten to be pro or con on the pick, but I do know these two things:

    One, some of the trades you mention amount to blowing up at least a section of the team — a team that tied for 3rd in the WC last season. I am flat out pleased that we’re apparently keeping Speights and Darrell, along with Dante. Although I would not be surprised if any of those three are traded by February.

    Two, The Griz are a winning team. Rookie is highly unlikely to crack the rotation. Ask Selby.

  4. RfoxNo Gravatar says:

    when you look at the sweep of history it is sure hard to see how the Grizz managed to get this good. look at the pieces:
    1) OJ Mayo for Kevin Love trade : not good but saved for a couple years by…
    2) Zach Randolph FA signing – long term it’s hard to see he’s as good as Love but he’s a good personality and likely a key to the locker room etc. – but he’s fat and older and in 5 years Love will be on his way to a HoF career
    3) Thabeet
    4) Jerry got Rudy from the Rockets
    5) Connely evolved finally into a decent but not great PG
    6) throwing Pau away turned out to be saved by the miracle of Mark Gasol’s development – all of the draft picks wound up yielding not very much
    7) Dealt two decent young players as panic reactions to losing Zach and arthur – players with the skillset we currently lack (shooting)
    8) now we have 3 identical players on the roster at PF and no shooting guard and no cap room supposedly.

    frikken miracle that zach and gasol saved this team from endless mediocrity – but they saved Wallace’s job and long term maybe that isn’t the best thing?

  5. kasdNo Gravatar says:

    I will start by saying I am a big fan of the Grizzlies pick at 25! Wroten will be awesome and make an impact his rookie year (unlike Pargo, Selby)…It is rare that you get a PG with the “EXPERTS” comparing him to be a potential Westbrook-Rondo-Evans(Tyreke) type of PG! And you got him at pick 25! He is 6’6’…..has speed, an amazing handle, athleticism, and super vision and he plays defense! I will admit that Conley has improved GREATLY since his early years….HE IS A SOLID PG no question…and I’m officially a fan…but he doesn’t make his teammates better and he CAN’T DEFEND! I don’t care about the steals stats…..steals don’t necessarily equal a great defender. Look at Chris Paul….would you call him one of the best defenders in the league? Anyhow. Conley needs competition and help to either take him to the next level or move over…..Tony Wroten will do just that…..

  6. RfoxNo Gravatar says:

    as long as we are happy making the playoffs and losing there to someone then the Grizz are having a nice off-season

    i left Tony Allen off my list – that was a move of real genius

  7. theGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

    At # 25 you have to go with the best player available. This years draft was a little murky there, but a should’ve, would’ve, could’ve article two weeks after the draft? How about something on the probability of Wroten developing a NBA jump shot? A run down on the summer league players would be nice as well. Can Josh Magette cut it? Barring a trade, Wroten is a Grizzly now. Lets stand behind him and leave it at that for now. He’s living his dream and I am happy for him, as well as hoping for the best.

  8. AndyNo Gravatar says:


    Chris could’ve been a hell of a lot more cordial, but he does make some valid points.

    This article has some serious flaws. You present a problem in the title, which is good, but you immediately desert your argument in the first sentence. Regardless of what you had in mind there, you confused the reader. Stick to your guns!! If you’re not going to have a hook, you have to present an opinion that grabs a reader’s attention. Through your first three paragraphs, I still had no idea what your point was.

    Still, that’s a small problem. If you had wowed us by presenting viable solutions to the issue, you would’ve proved your point. Instead, you gave vague, incomplete thoughts as your answer.

    For example, you raise an excellent point: why didn’t we draft Moultrie, a stretch big that can shoot the 3 and would allow us to cut DA or Speights loose? You say cutting one loose would save us cap space to go after “another veteran shooter with more money in hand.” Then it’s over? What? You left us hanging! What veteran shooter? How much more money? You piqued our interest and then switched horses midstream.

    You should’ve mentioned how Moultrie could make 1-1.2 million next year, which is 2 million cheaper than the contract we agreed to with DA. You then should’ve looked up if that would have preserved our full mid-level exception by keeping us away from the luxury tax cutoff! If it did, the Griz could’ve had 4 million more to spend in free agency, and you could have had a legitimate point here! You get what I’m saying?

    From there, you could’ve gone on about how we could’ve either thrown 9 million at Ray Allen or split it between someone like Jason Terry and Jerryd Bayless, thus solving the shooting issue, replacing our departed sixth man, and adding a proven backup point guard. Instead, you left it at “another veteran shooter with more money in hand.”

    Also… proofread your articles. This isn’t the first time I’ve had serious difficulty understanding your grammar, but it’s definitely the worst. It sounds like you tripped while writing the first sentence of your second paragraph, and your third paragraph literally ends in a cliffhanger.

    If you don’t put effort into your writing, no one is going to put effort into reading it.

    P.S. – SARCASM = OFF!!!!! Hahahaha that kid must be 12

  9. ColtNo Gravatar says:

    At pick #25, you should draft either a specialist or the best talent available. We didn’t draft a specialist, so we took the best talent available (according to Chris Wallace). Now we just have to sit back and wait to see how Wroten turns out.

    As for this article, the author should have done a little more research and try to actually present a reasonable alternative. Like, use specific teams, names, etc. Don’t just say, “sign a good SG” or “trade for a SG.” Easier said than done. And like someone else said, Ray Allen wouldn’t come to Memphis unless we paid him a ridiculous amount of money that he’s not worth.

  10. ChristopherNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not saying Tony Wroten is the best player they could have picked but he has talent and he something to bring to Memphis. He is able to open up the floor great passer and quick thinker he is improving his shot. If you have watched some of his recent workouts he had and his performance in the summer league, It is getting a lot better and he takes smart shots and he can drive to the lane really well. I think he will be great coming off the bench behind Conley and has a bright future just has things he really needs to improve on.

    go to had page future hoops to watch is performance in his first game of summer league vs the knicks if you did not get a chance to see it. second game should be uploaded soon thnx gooo grizzlies

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