Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grizzlies pick number 28

When contemplating the Memphis Grizzlies's pick at number 28, one must consider the immense talent and potential that was surprisingly available low in the first round. With Chris Douglas Roberts, DeAndre Jordan, Joey Dorsey and others still available, the Grizzlies opted to move in a different direction- to select what they perceived to be the best talent available. Before one can remark on their selection, one must exercise all options. CDR was a hometown favorite who is highly underrated due to his largely average physical tools. Yet, this does not account for his penchant for in game heroics. (other than their tournament run) Dorsey, a fellow Tiger, is a monster in the paint who can gather rebounds. And, Jordan possesses considerable physical gifts and could emerge as one of the best steals in this draft. Ultimately, the Grizzlies went with Syracuse freshman Donte Greene.

Though he possesses a great deal of potential, this selection makes little sense from the Grizzlies' perpective. Greene is a 6'10 small forward who largely shoots from the outside. He is extremely raw at this stage in his development, and is going to need to add considerable bulk in order to be effective in the NBA. He is a streaky shooter from the perimeter who can detract from his team if his shots are not falling. Greene, at times, hoists shots up at inopportune times. When he decided to go inside, he was able to maneuver in the paint, though this was a rare occurrence. Furthermore, he was outmuscled by stronger interior defenders at the college level. Thus, a strength training program could do wonders for his game. Moreover, his below average ball handling does not make him ideal for an up tempo style. When Syracuse played in transition, Greene was prone to pulling up for three point shots; thus the Orange faced many empty possessions. As such, Donte's understanding of the game must mature for him to be a serious factor in the Grizzlies transition offense.

Secondly, from a personnel standpoint, this is not the most appropriate selection. Rudy Gay is the most coveted talent on our roster, and he will consume roughly forty minutes per game. And, Greene plays the same position as Rudy. Not only that, but both possess comparable flaws. Due to his considerable length, Rudy could stand to improve his handle; however, he has made strides since his rookie season. Similarly, Greene was incapable of driving to the hoops due to his lacksidasical dribbling. He utilized his notable height advantage to shoot over the top of opponents. With this option taken away, it is difficult to determine how he will respond. Greene is very raw at this stage in his development, especially if he is to be utilized in an up tempo offense. Why did the Grizzlies refrain from selecting an immediate rotation player who could provide consistent effort off the bench. With Juan Carlos Navarro gone, the Grizzlies could have used this pick to solidify their backup guard positions.

I suspect that this selection was an attempt to appease fellow Syracuse alum Hakim Warrick. However, this is an underwhelming proposition for most fans because his tweener status has really been a detriment to the Grizzlies team defense. Overall, Donte possesses a great deal of promise, but selecting him with more experienced players readily available and not taking into account his NBA position, could prove to be a costly error down the road.
Round 2
31. Minny- Semih Erden
He has the physical tools to be successful in the paint, but he is a bit raw in his post moves. However, he would be a nice fit alongside Jefferson.

32. Seattle- Mario Chalmers
Chalmers is another option at point guard who could help fill that void.

33. Portland- Ryan Anderson
Anderson is from the West coast, and the Blazers like him off the bench.

34. Minny- DeVon Hardin
Minny takes an athletic gem in Hardin, who could pan out as a huge steal in the second round. He has as much upside as some of the first rounders. The only factor preventing him is age.

35. LA Clips- Richard Hendrix
Hendrix is a fundamental player who could replace Brand if he is not back with the Clips or is not in full strength.

36. Portland- Omer Asik
The Blazers stash this big man overseas because of his long term contract. He is another talented big man with solid athleticism.

37. Milwaukee- Bill Walker
The Bucks continue to fill the small forward void even after Jefferson. With Simmons gone, Walker can replace his production.

38. Charlotte- Serge Ibaka
The Bobcats select this athletic monster in the second round with the hopes of bringing him over after his contract is completed.

39. Chicago- Nathan Jawai
Chicago goes for interior strength with Jawai. He is a beast inside who can dominate on the glass.

40. New Jersey- Gary Forbes
The Nets fill the void left by Jefferson. Forbes is a nice option who can attack the basket virtually at will.

41. Indiana- Joey Dorsey
Dorsey is a force on the boards and the Pacers could use his defensive presence to complement Daniels.

42. Sacramento- Jamont Gordon
The Kings select a guy who can man the point, but has a complete offensive game overall. He can hit shots from the midrange and attack the basket.

43. Sacramento- Malik Hairston
Malik is a complete offensive package who can fill up the scoring sheet. He has improved his all around game and thereby possesses considerable upside.

44. Utah- Ante Tomic
Tomic is a huge finesse player, who is a bit thin. But, with some bulk, he could be a nice project 7 footer.

45. San Antonio- Nikola Pekovic
He is a first round talent, but he held out with his European contract. It is unlikely that he will come to the NBA soon. Pekovic is extremely talented though.

46. Seattle- James Mays
Mays is an athletic post player who can defend inside or use his athleticism to maneuver around the basket.

47. Washington- George Hill
Hill is an excellent player who can play the point guard position. He could be the biggest steal in this draft. Hill can attack the basket with reckless abandon. Also, he can fill it up from the perimeter. He is one of the most complete players available in the second round.

48. Phoenix- JR Giddens
Giddens is an athletic wing who can fill it up from the outside, but is tremendous at attacking the basket. Moreover, he is an above average rebounding wing.

49. Golden St.- Sonny Weems
Weems is an athletic beast who is a good perimeter defender and a solid, albeit streaky shooter. He would be great in a transition offense.

50. Seattle- Mantas Kalnietis
This is a pick that Seattle could send overseas. Mantas is a big guard who could come over after a few seasons in Europe.

51. Dallas- Will Daniels
Daniels is a legitamite NBA small forward that can hit shots from the outside, or post up in the paint.

52. Miami- James Gist
Gist is a dominant shot blocker that uses his length to overwhelm big men in the post.

53. Utah- Richard Roby
Roby is a pretty complete player that can score in streaks from the perimeter. He emerged in the Big 12 tournament, but has been inconsistent during his career at Colorado. The Jazz would pick Roby based on his potential to fill it up from the perimeter.

54. Houston- David Padgett
Padgett is an excellent passing big man who helps his team in virtually every category. The Rockets could use him to complement Yao Ming. He could give Yao a lot of additional looks. Not only that, he is a decent wing shooter, despite his limited elevation.

55. Portland- Joe Crawford
Crawford impressed in the predraft camp with his ability to score against some of the top talents in the second round. Despite being undersized, he may attain a roster spot in Portland.

56. Seattle- Sean Singletary
Singletary fills a point guard void in Seattle and is a complete package at point guard. He is a bit undersized, but has the work ethic to make up for it.

57. San Antonio- Anton Ponkrashov
He is a streaky perimeter shooter who is crafty attacking the hoop. The dilemna is whether or not his handle and speed will translate against NBA defenders. The Spurs could stash him overseas.

58. LA Lakers- Bryce Taylor
Bryce has is a nice perimeter shooter who can do a little bit of everything. He is athletic on the dribble drive and he can pass. The Lakers could use him off the bench.

59. Detroit- Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Mbah a Moute is one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft, and the Pistons would covet him this late in the draft.

60. Boston- Trent Plaisted
Plaisted is a steal this late in the draft. He is an athetic 7 footer with explosiveness at his size.

Round 1 Mock with Explanations

1. Chicago- Derrick Rose
Rose is a given for the number one pick. He played high school basketball in Chicago, so he has ties to the city.

2. Miami- Michael Beasley
Beasley is the obvious pick, having one of the best freshman seasons in college basketball history. He could fill a need as well.

3. Minny- OJ Mayo
Minny likes Mayo and he can shoot from the perimeter for their squad.

4. LA Clips- Eric Gordon
After the Clips moved up in the draft, they decided to get their guy, Eric Gordon.

5. Memphis- Brook Lopez
The Grizzlies take the most impressive finesse big man to complement Marc Gasol.

6. NY- Kevin Love
Love falls to 6, and the NYK take the best talent available.

7. Seattle- Jerryd Bayless
The Sonics love Bayless, and they could use help at point guard.

8. Milwaukee- Joe Alexander
The Bucks need a small forward and Alexander seems to be their favorite player.

9. Charlotte- Russell Westbrook
Charlotte would like to acquire a player who can play some point in case Felton does not pan out next season.

10. New Jersey- Danilo Gallinari
The Nets trade Jefferson in order to select Gallinari to man their small forward slot.

11. Indiana- Roy Hibbert
Hibbert was dominant in predraft workouts, and this sleeper rises up the draft boards into the lottery.

12. Sacramento- DJ Augustin
The Kings select their favorite player and fill a huge void at point guard.

13. Portland- DeAndre Jordan
The Blazers will take Jordan and stash him as a backup next to Oden, or use him as trade bait.

14. Golden St.- Alexis Ajinca
Ajinca has been rising up the draft and seems to be perfect for their run and gun style. He also can shoot from the perimeter.

15. Phoenix- Brandon Rush
Rush is one of the most complete players in this draft and the Suns love his complete game.

16. Philadelphia- Anthony Randolph
He slipped and the Sixers bite for what they perceive to be the best talent available. They have a young team and Iggy could mentor him in the weightroom.

17. Toronto- Kosta Koufas
The Raps get one of the most underrated bigs in this draft. He is an excellent post presence who can stroke it from the perimeter. But, the bulk of his game will come inside.

18. Washington- Darrell Arthur
Arthur becomes the best purely inside player in this draft. Jamison can play some small forward now.

19. Cleveland- Marreese Speights
Speights offers a young athletic presence inside for an aging Cleveland front line.

20. Charlotte- Donte Greene
Greene is taken for potential and the Bobcats look to trade one of their small forwards in the offseason.

21. New Jersey- Robin Lopez
The Nets take a nice big man who slips a bit. Lopez provides a defensive and rebounding presence to add to an already talented lockdown frontcourt alongside Sean Williams.

22. Orlando- Courtney Lee
The Magic love Lee as a guy who can fill it up from the outside and put them over the top in the Eastern Conference.

23. Utah- JaVale McGee
McGee slips far in this draft, but the Jazz take him solely on potential. They could trade for the 30th to select Dragic as well.

24. Seattle- Chris Douglas Roberts
Douglas Roberts is a nice slashing weapon who can complement Durant through his dribble drive and kick.

25. Houston- DJ White
The Rockets look to take a backup PF to go alongside Scola. White is a beast inside and he may receive some starting time.

26. San Antonio- Nicolas Batum
The Spurs love Batum and would have a French connection with him and Tony Parker. He brings youth to their wing.

27. Portland- Jason Thompson
The Blazers select another big guy and trade him at some point. They are already loaded in their frontline, and Thompson is a nice tradable piece.

28. Memphis- JJ Hickson
Hickson is a beast inside and could be the biggest steal of the entire first round. His interior game is extremely advanced for his age. He would add a presence to the Grizzlies that has not yet been seen in Memphis.

29. Detroit- Kyle Weaver
Weaver is a defensive wing who the Pistons could utilize. He is a lock down defender, who could bring back the Pistons of old.

30. Boston- Goran Gragic
Boston goes with a point guard at 30 and possibly trades him to Utah. Or, they can stash him overseas until Cassell retires.