Sports 56 WHBlog Q

May 20, 2009

Finally…Some Buzz

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 9:17 am

The Grizzlies finally had some luck in the NBA Draft Lottery last night, and while it wasn’t quite everything Grizzlies’ fans hoped for, the 2nd pick in a draft that’s 2 players deep (in my opinion) is a good thing.  The actual decision on draft night comes down to whether you take Ricky Rubio or Hasheem Thabeet; I hope to everything sacred they take Rubio.  Now, the Grizzlies have a few options here.

Take Ricky Rubio: This, I would think, is the most likely scenario and one that opens up the most possibilities for the team.  I would love Ricky Rubio to be on this team next year.  He is a superb playmaker and is a tremendously talented point guard in a league that’s becoming more and more about the point guard.  Here is a short YouTube video that doesn’t have any cheesy music behind it from when the Spanish national team played Russia:
In this video, you can see that the kid has supreme court vision and awareness and an extremely high basketball IQ (I hesitate to even say that because of Jerry West’s love of basketball IQ).  Plus (perhaps most important of all to me), he’s 6’4, which presents much more of a matchup problem than Mike Conley does.  He’s only 18, which means he still has a lot of upside to his game; however, he’s clearly already talented, because he played key minutes for the Spanish Olympic team that finished with the silver medal…when he was only 17.  Based on what I’ve read and seen, he’s kind of similar to Jason Kidd–great playmaker, great in transition, good defender, but has a questionable jump shot.

Now, if the Grizzlies do take Rubio, it gives them a ton of options.  They have lots of cap room, so they can try and package Rubio and a player/their second 1st round pick for a true 4 player, which is obviously an area of need. They can take Rubio and keep him and then try and deal Mike Conley and a pick/player to another team for another draft pick/a 4 player.  They can take Rubio, let him back up Conley for a couple of years to develop his game, and then let him start.  The Suns drafted Steve Nash (a similar player to Rubio, apparently) and let him back up Jason Kidd.  They then traded him to Dallas, where he flourished…hopefully the Grizzlies would leave that part out.  In this scenario, the Grizzlies would have to address their need for a four and some shooting with their cap space or their late first round pick.  Or, they could do the thing that I dread, and…

Take Hasheem Thabeet: Some people say that the Grizzlies are very high on Hasheem Thabeet, and may take him.  I hope not.  You can’t teach 7’3, and he is a very good shot blocker.  He is a pretty good rebounder, although it’s kind of difficult to evaluate a kid’s ability to rebound against NBA centers when he’s 6 inches taller than everyone else in college.  What he would do is provide a defensive presence in the paint which has been sorely lacking for the Grizz since they came here…hell, since Big Country left.

However, a couple of things concern me about Thabeet.  First of all, he has very little offensive ability.  If a guy who’s 7’3 in college goes essentially 5 for 8 on average, that tells you he’s not a very good offensive player.  I mean, if a dude is 6 inches taller than everyone else, I’m throwing him the ball all the time…the fact that UConn didn’t do that last year tells you a lot.  He got a lot of his baskets on offensive rebounds and put backs.  Secondly, he doesn’t like contact, and if you’ve ever sat down low at an NBA game, there’s a lot of that.  In the biggest game of the year for UConn, he was knocked to the floor by a much shorter Michigan State team 12-15 times, and repeatedly boxed out by much smaller players, to the tune of 16 offensive rebounds for MSU.  He had only 3 defensive rebounds in that game.  I know it’s silly to evaluate a guy on one game, but he got owned by DaJuan Blair in two games also, and DaJuan Blair is 6’6.  Thirdly, he’s already 4 years older than Rubio is, and some people question if that’s even true.

Thabeet would have been a great pick…when Pau Gasol was here.  He would have given them that defensive presence/rebounder where they had the post scorer on the other side.  Now that they don’t have that, you would be left with less offense than you already had, and four 7 footers on your team.  Thabeet is a boom or bust pick…I tend to believe the latter.  I’m not taking a guy who can’t create anything on offense with the second pick in the draft.

The Grizzlies should take Rubio.  It opens up the most options and has the most potential.  There is an issue with Rubio, however.  His buyout is believed to be in the area of $8 million, of which the Grizzlies could pay $500 k.  The issue may end up in an international court, because Rubio’s signature is not actually on the contract he signed with DKV Joventut.  Now, Rubio’s name in spanish actually means “blonde,” so it opens up some interesting marketing possibilities…Mr. Rubio?
mr blonde

The good thing for the Grizzlies is that regardless of how this shakes out, the franchise has some buzz for the first time in a few years.  The Grizzlies need the city, and the city needs the Grizzlies.  Here’s hoping the Grizzlies take advantage of the momentum created last night.



  1. Well said Will. Now if you could only convince that bone head weinburger of the same…or at least get him to write a blog

    Comment by Wyatt — May 20, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  2. China 1Pt 4reb 4ast 4TO 5steals
    Germany 7 5 3 0 2
    Greece 7 1 1 1 0
    USA 8 3 3 4 3
    Angola 2 1 5 0 3
    Croatia 3 6 3 1 0
    Lith. 4 6 4 2 1
    USA 6 6 3 2 3

    AVGS 5.4 4.5 3.7 2 2.4

    Want to know whose Olympic stat line this is….Ricky “the hall of famer” Rubio!!!!
    Plus, he comes with a $8million price tag/buyout! Do you want to deal with this guy who does not want to play here, is going to cost you and who didn’t average more than 6 points in the Olympics? I say HELL to the NO!!!!!!

    Comment by uncledewek — May 21, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  3. A couple of things there…he had a comparable Olympic stat line to Chris Paul. Secondly, the Grizzlies, due to NBA rules, can only pay $500k of his buyout…Rubio would have to pay the other $7.5 out of his own pocket. Thirdly…he’s only 18 right now…lots of room to grow.

    Comment by williamaskew — May 22, 2009 @ 7:25 am

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