Tonight the NBA holds their annual player dispersement ceremony where the best and the brightest wanting to play in the league are banished to the hinterlands of terrible teams.
And for once the Grizzlies aren’t involved in the festivities. Well, I suppose having the 19th pick in the second round (11th from the end in other words) does mean the Grizzlies will be participating but after years of draft night frustration and confusion your Memphis Grizzlies will not be hoping to find a savior in this year’s draft.
It’s a strange feeling but one most Grizz fans hope to become accustomed to.
It’s hard to predict an NBA draft’s top 14 picks correctly. Damn near impossible to predict the first round correctly. In most draft party selection games I have participated in anyone getting more than one pick correctly in the 20s is rare so I won’t attempt to predict who the Grizzlies will select at #49 (well except for participating inSlam DunkCentral’s Mock Draft but that is just for fun).
If you listened to anything the Grizzlies front office has been discussing in various media outlets this summer you know the Grizzlies’ top three primary concerns are: 1) Resign Marc Gasol 2) Resign Marc Gasol and 3) Resign Marc Gasol.
However there are some needs on the team that need to be addressed outside of resigning Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies realize that none of these needs may completely be satisfied in the draft as well but here they are just the same:
- A 6-8 to 6-10 Power Forward/Center
- Outside Shooting
- A speedy back up PG
1. The Grizzlies got by last season with two power forwards and three 7 foot centers for the majority of the season. They were lucky that neither Randolph nor Arthur were injured because the team had no one who could fill in if the team went significant time without either player. However with more and more teams opting for a small ball look off the bench the Grizzlies want not only to protect against injury but provide an alternative to throwing out another 7 ft center who can’t venture away from the basket when teams do go small.
Possible Names: Jordan Williams, Maryland, Keith Benton, Oakland, Rick Jackson, Syracuse, Macolm Thomas, San Diego St
2.I realize most people feel the Grizzlies lack of perimeter shooting was their biggest weakness last season and honestly they are probably correct when discussing the playoffs last year but the Grizzlies already have young players capable of hitting that shoton their roster. O J Mayo had a disappointing season but showed that he is capable of having a large impact on perimeter shooting in the playoffs. Last season’s rookies, Greivis Vasquez and Xavier Henry, both show promise in developing range out to the arc and don’t forget the return of last season’s best 3 point shooter in Rudy Gay. While the team still wants to improve in this area it is not considered as great a need as the PF/C position.
Possible Names: E’Twuan Moore, Purdue, Bojan Bogdanovic, Serbia, Scotty Hopson, Tennessee, Andrew Goudelac, College of Charleston
3. Greivis Vasquez did an admirable job backing up Mike Conley in the playoffs last year but Coach Hollins has made it clear that he wants a speedier alternative on the bench as well. Ish Smith could be that player but his limited offensive game is a serious drawback with Ish. Ideally Hollins would like someone who has speed and thinks defense and passing first but teams have to respect the possibility of the player scoring as well. Last season teams ignored Smith and he couldn’t make them pay for such an approach.
Possible Names: Cory Joseph, Texas, Shelvin Mack, Butler, Josh Selby, Kansas
So what playerwill fillthe spotand will be available at 49 in the draft? I don’t know. My hope is the either Josh Selby or Keith Benton are still on the board but drafting someone like Bojan Bogdanovic with the intent of letting him remain overseas to mature is attractive as well.