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While the Grizzlies do not hold and moreover do not figure to obtain a lottery pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, 3 Shades of Blue had the opportunity to crash the party at Wednesday afternoon’s media availability for the green room invitees. There may not be much of a chance that any of these guys will be suiting up in Beale St. blue uni’s in the 2013-14 season, but amidst the frenzy I sat in for some time with a few of the “rookies-to-be,” and was able to sneak some tangentially Grizz-related topics into the conversation.

First up, Otto Porter:


Porter is a 6’9 small forward fresh off of a dynamite sophomore season at Georgetown, who is characterized by his non-stop motor, condor wingspan, and collected approach to the game. He is projected by most mock drafts to be taken off the board when the Washington Wizards pick at the three slot. Known as a defensive stalwart, the rangy Porter’s offensive game is in need of refinement, and the form on his jumper is suspect, but he compensates by always staying in motion and making good decisions with the ball in his hands as a point forward.

Sound familiar? Thought so. Porter thinks so too.

3 Shades of Blue: Otto, you compared your game to Tayshaun Prince in an earlier interview. The Grizzlies traded their leading scorer, getting Prince back in return and hardly missed a beat. Do you think that this speaks volumes to the impact of an all-around player as opposed to a high volume scorer?

Porter: “I mean, definitely, you know. He came in and right away he contributed in different ways: defense, offense. He came in and he played like Tayshaun Prince. He’s just a great guy… we have some similarities.”

Notable Quotes

  • On whether he learned anything as a leader from the loss to Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament, Porter said, “It doesn’t matter who you play, who they are or anything like that. You have to look at it the same and you can’t take anyone for granted.”
  • Provoked by a question from fellow TrueHoop blogger David Vertsberger of HawksHoop, regarding his immediate defensive impact, Porter responded that, “Any team that picked me, I think that I would definitely have an immediate impact defensively with my motor and help defense. I came from a great defensive oriented team at Georgetown. We pride ourselves on defense, so I think it will transfer well to the NBA.”
  • After a bit of consideration, when asked which player in the lottery he would most like to have as a teammate, he responded, “Victor Oladipo.”

So without further ado, next up — Victor Oladipo:

oladipoOladipo, the 6’4 junior swingman out of Indiana has been something of a media darling heading into the draft, and for good reason. Projected to fall anywhere from the Cavaliers as a dark horse number one pick, down to the Suns at the fifth, the “feathery” Oladipo is certainly expected to bring his clamp-down defensive game to the next level. Using a combination of his explosive athleticism, 6’9 wingspan, strong frame, and unbridled intensity, he can basically bring matchups at all three perimeter spots to tears. Occasionally his offensive game is left at the station, but he takes what the defense gives him and managed to improve his efficiency in 2012-13 to lead all projected first-rounders in eFG% {1}.

For the most part, again this sounds like somebody we know… so I asked him…

3SOB: Defensively you’ve drawn comparisons to Tony Allen. Do you ever watch him play to pick up some things here and there?

Oladipo: “Actually, his agent is my agent [Raymond Brothers], so I do watch a lot of Tony Allen film. He’s a great defender, you know, and he works so hard on defense. I definitely try to model that. No question.”

Notable Quotes

  • On potentially joining a rebuilding organization, “At Indiana we had to rebuild from scratch. So I would just help impact winning; help in a positive way on both ends of the floor.”
  • When asked if he expects a lot of surprises in the draft, “I think a lot of people might be shocked about some things. There’s no telling what happens… You might get drafted in one city and in five minutes you’re going to another one.”
  • To follow up, on the anticipation leading up to the draft versus that of a big game, “I’m not going to be able to sleep, probably; I might have butterflies. I’m going to be way more nervous than I am if I’m playing in a big game, because I don’t know where I’m going. In a game I know where I’m going – I’m going to the other team’s gym… I know what team I’m about to play, I’ve done scouting, I know who I’m going to guard. And this is a mystery… there’s nothing like the unknown. The unknown can drive a man crazy.”

And then there’s Steven Adams:

adamsOh, Steven Adams. I wish I could have stayed at his table all day, because the seven-foot prospect from New Zealand is just a riot to be around. To be honest, though, I’m not entirely sure how he projects… and I’m not sure how anybody can be. For one thing, we do know that this guy has the perfect body to be successful in the post when he clears the bar into the NBA. Standing 7’0 in shoes, weighing in at 255, and boasting a wingspan of 7’4 in length, there are no questions about his size. Add in his incredible mobility to the picture, and there’s a tantalizing mix of factors going forward in Adams’s favor right off the bat. Of course, however, there are caveats. For starters, he probably would be much better off sticking it out at Pitt for another year or so to develop upon said talent, like he initially had said he would do. Adams is lacking in just about every fundamental department, and could afford to work on figuring out ways to get points on the board outside of put-backs and transition dunks.

Sounds just like… Marc Gasol? Not quite, but Adams did bring him up in another interview, so…

3SOB: In a previous interview you stated that, “Marc Gasol is the man.” What is it about his game that you appreciate so much, and what parts of his game do you plan on adapting to your own?

Adams: “Just his skill level. Just what he does, you know what I mean? He passes the ball real well, he just does whatever he wants, but he’s just the man.”

Notable Quotes

  • On what he, himself can bring to an NBA team, Adams had to say that, “I’m just a hard worker. Obviously I’m going to probably excel down the track, but for now I’m just a rebounder – block shots, run lanes, hit screens”
  •  His personality shined through when questioned as to which player projected in the lottery he would prefer to have most as a teammate. He responded, “In the lottery? Probably Kentavious [Caldwell-]Pope. If not him, then I would have said Ray McCallum. He is my boy. He has the same agency… We have a lot of bro dates all the time, and you know go swim and stuff.”
  • Regarding how he was feeling a day before the draft, he remarked that “it feels like Christmas Eve”

Well with that, Christmas is here, and the prospects anticipate a merry ending to the long and grueling draft process.


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One Response to Green Room Invitees on “Draft Eve”

  1. […] III, the Thunder have added a few more pieces for the future through the 2013 draft. Seven-footer and Marc Gasol fan Steven Adams out of New Zealand headlines the rookie group in Oklahoma City in the mold of an […]

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