As I've said before, I write for onlinesportsfanatic.com and have been doing my best to put together some info on this year's draft. I've already released my position rankings, big board, and first mock draft and now I'm ready to start my team previews. If you haven't seen the rest of my coverage look for links in my blog or on onlinesportsfanatic.com.
The Grizzlies have one of the best groups of young players in the league, and their lottery pick in this year’s draft will just add to that. They finished this season with a record of 24-58 and went from the sixth pick all the way to the second via the draft lottery. Ricky Rubio and Hasheem Thabeet are the early favorites to end up in Memphis.
Since 2000 the draft has been mostly a positive for Memphis. They took Kevin Love with their first pick last year and traded him for O.J Mayo, who ended up averaging 18.5 points in his rookie season. Other notable players drafted by Memphis include Pau Gasol, Shane Battier, Drew Gooden, Kendrick Perkins, and Hakim Warrick.
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I think Thabeet would be the best pick
Also, Read Mock Draft 3.1
The Grizzlies are a very interesting team. With the right choice, I believe they can be a playoff contender either next year or the year after, they are very much like Portland was a year ago (although Portland has more talent). I do believe they will take Hasheem Thabeet though, from what has been rumored around the league is that they are raving about him. Is it the choice that will put them over the top? Only time will tell.
I am a Memphis Grizzlies fan so forgive me for my bias. As much as I love Ricky Rubio as a player I think you attack this draft in one of two ways. First you must establish if your going to have your future of OJ Mayo playing the 1 or the 2. Once that's determined you seal Mike Conley's fate. I think he's an intriguing expendable prospect. The Grizzlies biggest needs in my mind are PF and then PG. With Griffen off the board that leaves three names worth considering. Rubio, Hill, and Thabeet. Thabeet makes the most sense because of his defensive prowess, but can you really run an uptempo offense with Mayo, Conley, Gay in the back court and having Thabeet and Gasol straggling along? I Think not. Let's also not forget the show Dejaun Blair put on Thabeet. If you can move Conley you draft Ricky Rubio and don't look back, but honestly I just see this pick being Jordan Hill. He's a Junior like Thabeet who has the ideal size of a versatile 3-4 who can step in and play power forward right now. He's improved every year at Arizona and I think in the long run he may be the best player out of this draft. Memphis Select Jordan Hill at 2.
I think Arthur will be a better pro than Hill....
Thabeet can run the floor well for his size.
I agree that Memphis can be a playoff team in the near future but if that's their goal Rubio is definitely the safer pick. A lot of Thabeet's draft stock is based off potential and I really doubt he comes in and makes a big impact his rookie year. He'll be a big body in the middle that will get you some blocks but there's guys he'll struggle against (like with Blair).
Rubio is going to make an impact right away and I would think you'll be able to get something for Conley.
Rumor is Rubio doesn't want to play in Memphis or OKC so maybe it will end up being Thabeet.
I don't know if you guys actually clicked on that link and read the full article but if you didn't you should. Here's my full mock draft for those of you interested.
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Actually the Grizzlies didnt Draft Pau. The Hawks did.
I think they should take Thabeet with the pick. I like Atlanta and Memphis so I say trade Gasol if he doesn't work at power forward for Horford of Josh Smith who would fill the spot perfectly. Mike Conely might work out but there's lot's of power forwards in the NBA. If you have to get a PG from the free agent list.
On Memphis's draft history it has them drafting Pau in 2001 with the 3rd overall pick.
It was a draft day trade. The Hawks drafted Pau and traded him on draft night to the Grizz for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. The Grizzlies Drafted Shane Battier with the 6th pick in 01
Alright thanks, I didn't realize that. I doubt ESPN was wrong though so I'm guessing the Shareef trade was for that actual pick. Maybe ESPN counts draft day trades towards that team's draft history.