The most Griz-specific story of note around web today comes from CNNSI.com's Scott Howard-Cooper, who quotes an NBA executive warning the Grizzlies off Ricky Rubio:
A rival general manager is on the phone discussing the Grizzlies' options with the No. 2 pick. Ricky Rubio is the second-best prospect in the draft, he says, echoing the feeling of most peers, and Rubio would make Memphis better.
"If I'm the Grizz, I probably trade the pick."
Pretty much everyone who has any contact with the team considers a trade at #2 a strong possibility, but the reasons Howard-Cooper cites in addition to the difficulties surrounding Rubio: The emergence of Mike Conley at the point and the need for more size up front.
While those things may well factor into the Grizzlies' decision-making, they shouldn't factor too strongly: The team needs to be focused on getting the most talented player it can get and sorting the rest out.
Howard-Cooper's story also includes this rival GM talking up Hasheem Thabeet in connection with the Grizzlies. While the Griz do have interest in Thabeet, I think you have to consider the source here.
ESPN.com's Chad Ford has a rumors piece up with a couple of Griz items.
For starters, there's this:
The Celtics could trade Allen to Memphis for a combination of Darko Milicic, Greg Buckner and Marko Jaric. That could save the Grizzlies a little money now and a lot of money next year … but that seems like a stretch. The Grizzlies don't need Allen and I'm sure he wouldn't be thrilled to play there.
Which gives me a good excuse to vent about one of my Griz-coverage pet peeves. Clearly Ford doesn't take this scenario seriously — and for good reason — but I've seen several references over the past few weeks to trade scenarios that would cut costs for the Grizzlies, which is something that NBA writers seem to reflexively look for when speculating about the team (again, not without reason). So let's clear one thing up: The Grizzlies might enter the offseason UNDER THE LEAGUE SALARY MINIMUM.
Based on information at the HoopsHype.com salary page, which tends to be pretty accurate, the Grizzlies salary structure heading into next season looks like this:
Darko Milicic $7.5 million
Marko Jaric $7.1
O.J. Mayo $4.2
Greg Buckner $4.0 (with a $1 million buyout)
Mike Conley $3.9
Rudy Gay $3.3
Marc Gasol $3.2
Hakim Warrick $3.0 (qualifying offer)
Hamed Haddadi $1.8 (this is my own estimate)
Darrell Arthur $1.1
Assuming the $1 million buyout for Buckner, that puts the Grizzlies at approximately $36.1 million.
Now let's add in estimated first-year salaries for the three draft picks:
That puts the Grizzlies at approximately $42.1 for 12 roster spots (subtracting Buckner, who will certainly be bought out if he isn't traded).
If we assume, conservatively, that the cap comes in at $56 million (which would be about $2.5 million below last season), then the team minimum (75% of the cap) will be $42 million, putting the Grizzlies right at the line. And that's with a conservative estimate of the cap and assuming all picks are exercised and players signed. There's a good chance the team will be slightly under the minimum salary requirement. In other words, the Grizzlies aren't going to be looking to shed salary this summer: They can't.
Even long term, the only "bad" contract on the roster is Marko Jaric's which, at about $14.7 million left over the next two seasons, isn't really much of an albatross at this point. The Grizzlies aren't going to part with the #2 pick in this draft just to get off Jaric's $7.6 million next season.
Another selection from the Ford story is notable for not mentioning the Grizzlies:
• Stephen Curry finally got his workout for the Knicks on Wednesday. There was your typical media frenzy and Curry gushing about playing in New York.
Curry, as expected, shot the lights out and wowed the Knicks brass. But whether Curry actually lands in New York on draft night is still up for debate. A number of teams including the Wizards, Wolves and Warriors could take him before then. And if an elite player slips, like Thabeet or Harden, the Knicks may be persuaded to go in a different direction.
But all things being equal, the chances that Curry winds up in New York, something we pegged back in January, remain high.
I don't think I've seen a single national source mention Curry in conjunction with the Grizzlies, but I can tell you that if the Grizzlies, for whatever reason (trading down, throwing the draft for an unexpected loop, etc.), don't select Rubio or Thabeet at #2, there are three players likely to get strong consideration: Tyreke Evans, James Harden, and Stephen Curry. And I've gotten some indications that Curry might be at the top of that list right now. Anything can happen between now and draft day, but Curry definitely needs to be considered in the mix for the Grizzlies.
Similarly, Draft Express has a piece up about team needs in the Southwest Division that lists Rubio, Thabeet, Harden, and Evans as the team's potential targets. Add Curry to the list.
I don't have much else to take issue with in the Draft Express piece, but will quibble slightly with this:
Their most immediate need is for a guard to play alongside O.J. Mayo, who can provide scoring and distributing when needed.
No. I do think that is what the team is most likely to get with the #2 pick, but it is not the most immediate need. That would be a more significant, more physical power forward to pair with Marc Gasol up front.
We'll find out soon which fence sitters will remain in the draft, but Griz sources I talk to tend to think Damien James will stay in. Jodie Meeks of Kentucy is a toss up, but one suggestion I've heard (not from a team official) is that the Grizzlies could win some fans by promising Meeks at #27 just to screw John Calipari. Sign me up! I think James or Meeks would be excellent picks at #36.
The team's lackluster workout schedule should finally start picking up next week. There's a workout Monday with a "lottery prospect" that I've heard — but haven't confirmed — is Demar Derozan. I've also heard that James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Jordan Hill, and Hasheem Thabeet will be coming in, though I'm not sure if Thabeet will workout. As far as I know, the team is still trying — or hoping — to get something set up with Rubio and Curry. There are also likely to be some additional workouts scheduled with late first and second-round prospects, with Chris Vernon favorite Jeff Adrien one name I've heard.
There's also another free-agent camp next week, with names like Michael Dickerson and Eddie Gill. I will not be reporting on that, but will try to get to any meaningful draft workouts the team has.
Memphis has to trade down. Thabeet doesn't work with Gasol. Conley plays the position Mayo will be playing when team thrives. They need a combo guard to play with Mayo and #2 is way to high to draft a combo guard because they are very easy to get. They should trade down and trade Conley to Portland. I think the return would be great and and they would have a team that would mesh better.
The biggest need for Memphis is a Power Forward. Is Chad for that ass backwards? Drafting Curry would be a daunting reminder on how bad this team has been over the last few years. We don't want an undersized 1/2 combo guard who I don't think can even play point guard for this team. The bottom line is that Conley is better than Curry. It's that simple so why draft an insufficient player with the second overall pick? It just doesn't make sense.
The Grizzlies not interested in Jordan Hill? Cmon you can't be serious. The guy is a legit 3-5 player whose got the speed to back it up. I know they want to shy away from taking him at number two, but he is exactly what this team needs. A Big bodied defensive minded power forward to play a long side of Marc Gasol. The 2-4 swap should happen and if anyone is surprised by it then I look down upon you.
I think if they keep the pick at 2 it comes down to 3 people; Jordan Hill, Ricky Rubio, and Tyreke Evans. If the 2-4 swap happens with Thompson then we will draft Tyreke Evans, and run with an squad of; Mayo - Evans - Gay - Thompson - Gasol.
This team has so much money to spend it's not even funny right now. I don't think their going to use it just quite yet. Despite the idea of resigning warrick, I think we should let him go. He's never going to be the player we envisioned when we drafted him.
And lastly MEMPHIS will NOT DRAFT HASHEEM THABEET!
2-4 swap makes most sense of all. I agree with you on Thabeet and Curry. The #2 pick is an issue of value. Even though Hill is a better fit, he will not be drafted at the 2 spot. It just won't happen. Grizzlies are in great spot at #2, but the 2 players they will be looking at with the highest value are very bad fits. They have to trade down and #4 is a great spot.
No way would I take Hill with the 2nd pick, I think he is a little overrated even though Memphis could use an upgrade at PF.
If Memphis can't trade down I would just suck it up and take Evans with the 2nd pick.
I agree with Auber on these 2 points: I wouldn't re-sign Warrick. I think Conely is better than Curry as far as being a PG is concerned. Curry is the better shooter but Conley is quicker with way better handles.
He's the right man for the team though. Jordan is their man, its just taking him at 2 is a bit too high. If a trade doesn't happen I don't think it's a bad route to go.
Word here in PHX is that Amare will be dealt after the season is over and Memphis has expressed interest, whether that's true or not it'd be a perfect fit... You know PHX would love Rubio to replace Nash who has 1 year left on his deal, Mepmhis needs a 'power forward' to go along with Mayo, Gay, Conley and Gasol is a solid line-up. Now the ? is if Memphis can re-sign Amare after next year, if they can it'd be a perfect deal for both teams imo.... w/ Nash and Shaq's deals ending in 2010 would free up more than 40 mil to get Rubio some help in the next year or so
Take Rubio give him an ultimatum if he actually says to managements face"I will not play for you" then trade him you would get the same value as the pick
If Memphis can get a deal for Stoudemire done without Mayo/Gay then this happens in a heart beat. Don't forget that Stoudemire was recruited to Memphis before declaring for choosing to go to the NBA Draft.
Steph Curry > Mike Conley
When finished Darko Milicic contract?
Guys, please wake up... Sacramento will NEVER give Thompson + #4 for Rubio. It's a dream.
Maybe #23 + #4. But Thompson... Lol, this guy was one of the best rookies !
Rubio is the 2nd best prospect. Memphis has the second pick. I expect Rubio to be a Grizz
I still expect Memphis to trade him. I don't think they want to deal with him and the possibility of problems down the road.
They can probably get a good deal for Rubio which could help them drastically.
He won't... Doesn't want to play here.
It might happen, but all you guys talking about the Kings including either Thompson or Hawes are smoking dope. Rubio is no sure thing and the difference between 2 and 4 is not worth giving up either of their two bigs who both have major potential. They might include the 23rd pick or maybe Garcia, but not much more.
I havent seen any confirmation of that "Rubio doesnt want to play in Memphis" Rumor
OJ Mayo shoud've shown us to take who you like most and not who everybody else thinks you should take. Miami loved Mayo but chose Beasley because it was the "no brainer". They could've had the best backcourt in the league instead of an overrated combo forward. The Grizzlies should take whoever they best think fits their team. Rubio or not.
Allen, you're a dreamer... Everyone knows that Rubio won't play for this city. Don't wait after any confirmation, you will see in 12 days, when they will draft Thabeet :)
I totally agree with you kincksfreak, but I'm pretty sure they won't do it. They just will draft the high-rated dude, fiting their team or not.
Thompson or even Hawes will not be included in 2-4 swap. Sac won't just do that. It would be better if Sac offer 4th+23rd/31stpick with Garcia for the 2nd pick of Memphis. Then trade Conley to Portland for Outlaw and Rodriguez/Bayless. Then draft Hill at no. 4 then draft BPA with the other pick to add depth to the team.
seems a good team to me.
Is not easy to draft Rubio if you are not completly sure he won t stay in Spain one more year.
I don t think Rubio will go to the NBA this year if Memphis pick and don t trade him.
A pick 23/ pick 31/pick 4 for Rubio looks good for Sacramento and Memphis.
I wouldn t trade for Amare,if he doesn t extend the contract you get nothing for the second pick
Needs to get harden what everybody fails to relize is where going back to the lottery next year the 2010 lottery is deep power foward draft so why get hill we can wait. the clippers are willing to give we should go after deandre jordan with and expiring contract or the 27th. we can wait and go after milsap or charle villunvia and keep the 27th pick and go after thorton patty mills or Rodrigue. i think harden is the guy and its risky to draft rubio and try to trade down for harden because the thunder wont trade for rubio if they draft harden. and marc gasol is improving this will be a big free agent spot but
i like getting harden and focusing next year on defense in the draft so why not trade sacremento
the kings trades there 2010 draft pick with memphis for their 2010 draft pick
the kings trade their 2009 pick for the memphis
this way memphis can go after a top player " perferbally a power foward or even a point john wall anybody" in a strong draft next year and still go after the players top on their 2009 list thy still can get harden plus they will have the best odds to get the number 1 pick sacrementoo will still be the worst team next year
sacremento gets rubio yes they win in the end and get the player they wanted
and next year they a still be in the lottery and get a great player to fill their team needs
This is realistc everybody talking crazzy trade talk this is 1 that make sense^^^^^^^^^^^
Steph Curry is not better then Mike Conley and Memphis isn't trading Love for Gay and the 2nd Pick. What Ass backwards hick town are you from Masrock?
Why would Memphis want the lesser of players AND draft consideration? #2 pick is worth a lot more than that and Gay has much more value than Love. Trades have to work for both teams.
i think my trade a work for both teams u have to give a little to get a little
i'd settle for the grizz trading the #2 for the 4th and 23rd pick and garcia.
I'd draft Hill at #4 for immediate powerfoward help.
then trade #23, #27 picks to move up into like 8-16. maybe get somebody like clark, johnson, hansbrough or blair.
then at #36, i'd draft a wing.
Then i'd go and try to sign a free agent. maybe steal powe or davis from boston, good luck for boston trying to give a huge contract to either...
conely, mayo, gay, hill, Gasol
Free agent possibles - powe, davis, there are much more, but why not go for these guys..?
bench = Warrick(resign), garcia, darko,
Drafted possibles after hill - clark, johnson, hansbrough or blair
That's the million dollar question. They might dictate the whole draft along with Golden State.