Sports 56 WHBlog Q

June 23, 2009

The Grizzlies Must Make the Smart Choice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 11:54 am

As everyone knows by know, the Grizzlies own the 2nd pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.  I believe there are only two players that are a possibility at #2 (no matter what the Grizzlies’ brass says).  I do believe that the Grizzlies are saying all the right things, praising Rubio, Thabeet, Tyreke Evans, James Harden, etc.  No one knows for sure what the Grizzlies will do, and if anyone says they do, they’re lying.  Even Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace really don’t know whom they’re going to pick or if they’re going to trade.  They sit in a great position; in fact, I believe that they control the fate of the entire draft.  They have all the leverage.  All of that being said, here are what I believe are the three options for the Grizz as they approach Thursday night.

Option 1: Draft Ricky Rubio and keep him

While it appears at this point that this is highly unlikely, I don’t believe this would be all that bad.  Mike Conley showed signs at the end of last season that he could be a pretty good NBA point guard, but I don’t know how high his ceiling is.  Rubio, while he certainly has a lot of question marks (namely his health and shooting ability), has a far greater upside than does Conley.  The kid has been a prodigy since he was 14 years old, has dominated competition his age, and is still only 18 years old.  He’s a guy that makes teammates around him better, is a good leader, and doesn’t particularly look to score.  While he’s not blessed with tremendous foot speed or lateral quickness, by all accounts he is a tremendous off-the-ball defender and has unbelievable instincts, which he uses to get in passing lanes.  I think Rubio would be a good pick.

Option 2:  Draft Hasheem Thabeet and keep him

This option is looking increasingly likely in the days leading up to the draft.  Hasheem Thabeet is what he is–a great weak-side shot blocker and a guy who can control the paint defensively.  He’s never going to be a good offensive player, and he’s not a particularly great on-the-ball defensive center.  He’s a project.  I am of the belief that Hasheem Thabeet is not the value pick at #2.  While he does provide something the Grizzlies need with defensive presence in the paint, do you really want to pick a rich man’s Samuel Dalembert at #2?  I don’t believe so.  That being said, the Grizzlies are apparently very high on him.  If the Grizzlies draft Hasheem Thabeet with the second pick, don’t expect a trade involving this pick.

Option #3: Draft Ricky Rubio and trade him

No one really knows how likely this is, but everyone seems to think it’s going to happen.  Everyone (except for nbadraft.net) seems to think the Grizzlies are going to draft someone other than Rubio with the pick.  If the Grizzlies want to make a trade, they should draft Rubio.  He’s the consensus 2nd best player in the draft, and holds the most value at their pick.

Courtesy of draftexpress.com, thebiglead.com, espn.com’s Chad Ford (I’m not going to dignify him with a link), etc., apparently Rubio and Thabeet have no desire to play in Memphis.  I’m really tired of hearing this.  First of all, agents and players are different.  A player is going to play wherever he is drafted or traded.  I’m sure if you asked OJ Mayo’s agent if he wanted Mayo in Memphis last year, he would have said no, but Mayo came and performed.  Dan Fegan didn’t want Yi in Milwaukee a couple of years ago, but Yi went and played (badly).  If he is drafted, Rubio will play here…ditto with Thabeet, Curry, etc.  Secondly, even if they don’t want to play here, Heisley doesn’t care.  The Grizzlies are going to pick whomever they want to with the second pick (assuming they keep it).  If you don’t believe that, go to sports56whbq.com and listen to Heisley’s interview on the Featured Audio player.  He just doesn’t care what agents think, and he won’t be bullied; anyone who tells you this will have any effect on what the Grizzlies will do doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about.  To say that James Harden is the “last man standing” is irresponsible and ignores everything Heisley and Chris Wallace are saying.  Either that or Heisley and Wallace are straight up lying to the media.

It is my belief that the Grizzlies should draft Ricky Rubio with the second pick in the draft and then see what happens.  If a trade down with New York, Minnesota, or Sacramento comes to fruition, great.  It is more likely, however, that a trade that the Grizzlies will potentially consummate on draft night has not even been discussed yet. Who even talked about the OJ Mayo trade last year before it happened?  At any rate, the Grizzlies should be exciting to see on Thursday night.  It’s not often that this franchise has a ton of leverage.

UPDATE: Great piece from Ron Tillery today on thememphisedge.com.  Good job Chad Ford!!

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1 Comment »

  1. will somebody anybody please tell me why is it that the national media writers reporters analyst and commentators that do this for a living day in and day out year in and year out like thabeet at 2 along with jay bilas whom covers college players and games who very credible as well as college coachs what does the local media see or know that they dont about hasheem thabeet because every players that is getting drafting have a weakness as well as griffin so please tell be very specific tiger woods had a bad game no mention of that i dont what to about a bad game against blair any athlete do that he dont he is not a scorer ok pau gasol he can score inside but he cant play defense thabeet he can block and rebound but he not good offensive name even jordan had a weakness i hear trade if yhey are not a playmaker or superstar why trade team 15-30 have all the playmakers and superstars they are trading for a draft pick teams with draft picks always trade draft picks not players if i know this you all should know you all get paid to know this information we the public dont all the trade talk is due as usual because of the local media look at the national media who they say look at majority media tv blog papers whatever they all pretty much say thabeet all them are wrong i assumed you all are correct

    Comment by larry — June 23, 2009 @ 4:42 pm


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