Thursday, June 28, 2007

React: Grizzlies Select Conley

As predicted at, the Grizzlies selected Conley with the fourth pick. I'm happy about this pick. Conley seems like the best player available and he addresses a major need for the Grizzlies.

I like that he's young - only a freshman, and has the potential to develop into a star.

I hope that this doesn't stifle the development of Kyle Lowry, and I hope they're able to coexist.

Seems like a solid move from our young management.

What do you think? Comment below...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Less Than 24 Hours To Go

Tomorrow the Grizzlies will select the fourth player in the NBA draft...or trade the fourth pick for other players or draft picks.

A poll of readers at demonstrated what other news sources have reported: the Grizzlies could choose any one of about half a dozen players.

Horford, if available seems like an obvious choice, and he won the poll by one vote. However, Horford might be taken with the third pick, and even if he's available, there's no guarantee that the Grizzlies will take him.

Conley Jr., second in the poll, is also a likely pick for the Grizzlies, who are in need of a point guard.

Unless there's a trade, Yi Jianlian, who tied Conley Jr. for second is almost certain to be available after the Grizzlies pick. The Grizzlies didn't attend Jianlian's workout in Los Angeles, and he could return to China if drafted by a team for which he didn't want to play.

Brandon Wright who came in fourth with 2 votes seems less likely for the Grizzlies, given that he may be a few years away from making strong contributions.

Jeremy Hunt and Marc Gasol are each received a vote, but Gasol will be lucky to make it into the first round, and Hunt will be lucky to get drafted.

A player, who received no votes, Joakim Noah, seems like the most likely choice at this point. Reports are that West is high on Noah, and he addresses the Grizzlies' need for a rebounder next to Gasol. Noah's has been questioned for his lack of offensive weapons, and many don't see a huge upside - will he be more than a role player?

Still, maybe even Grizzlies management don't know who they'll draft. Everyone predicted West would pick Mickael Pietrus during the 2003 draft, and Pietrus was eventually drafted by Golden State.

In less than 24 hours, we'll know...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 Predicts Conley Jr. at #4 has created a mock draft featuring projections from bloggers representing each team. The Grizzlies' pick was selected based on readers' choices in a poll at

Horford has received the most votes in the poll so far. However, the Hawks took Horford with the 3rd pick in the mock draft, so I had to choose between Conley Jr. and Jianlian. Given that the Grizzlies didn't work out Jianlian and the Chinese prospect would probably return to his homeland before making Memphis his home, I chose Conley Jr.

Read more about my selection in the mock draft at, and don't forget to vote in our poll before Thursday's Draft.

Also, check out Kelly Dwyer's ranking of Chris Wallace among NBA executives at CNNSI. Note his position two places below Dream Team II star, Isiah Thomas...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

These Players Could Stay or Go for the Grizzlies

Don't forget to vote for your #4 pick in next Thursday's Draft! Horford is winning by one vote.

Stromile Swift

For all his faults, Swift can be a decent back-up big man. The Grizz should shop him, but keeping Swift wouldn't be the end of the world. Solid big men are difficult to find, and Swift can still provide shot-blocking, rebounding, and scoring off the bench. His contract isn't a bargain, but it doesn't break the bank either. (2 more years, ~$6 million)

Mike Miller

Miller's trade value is high. Because of his offensive ability, he could be a solid piece on a winning team. Because of his defensive weaknesses, he's not fit to be the second best player on a team. He's still young, and can help the Grizzlies win games. However, if the Grizzlies can get a young player who can develop into a leader of the team, Miller could be a valuable trade asset.

Hakim Warrick

Warrick had a great year. He demonstrated that he's willing to work in the offseason to improve his game, and he can be a solid contributor in a starting role on a good team. However, he's also a player without a position. He's not strong enough to play the 4 and too slow to play the 3. If the Grizzlies can get someone who better fits their need - at point guard and in the paint, they shouldn't be afraid to part with Warrick.

Lawrence Roberts & Alexander Johnson

Roberts and Johnson are solid contributors, but at this point, they haven't demonstrated that they'll be any more than a slightly different version of Swift. If either or both can sweeten a deal, than the Grizzlies shouldn't be afraid to part with them. If they're still in Grizzlies uniforms next year, they'll be able to provide solid minutes off the (end of the) bench.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Who Should the Grizzlies Drop?

Damon Stoudemire

Stoudemire is another unlucky break for the Grizzlies caught. Bringing the veteran point guard on two years ago was a good move by West. The Grizzlies looked good with Stoudemire, but one reason why West's strategy of surrounding Gasol with veterans past their prime was a bad strategy is that older players are more injury prone. Stoudemire's injury leaves him too slow to provide what the Grizzlies need. He should move on to an older team where he can provide back-up support. Stoudemire still has a couple of clutch moments in him, which is just what the top teams need.

Chucky Atkins

Atkins did a great service for the Grizzlies. He also helped himself out by demonstrating what he's capable of. Like Stoudemire, Atkins would look good on a team the needs a veteran point guard to help them in the playoffs. How about the Lakers?

Dahntay Jones

Jones has a place in the league, but he gets lost in the shuffle for the Grizz. He is a solid back-up defensive specialist. He'd look good on a team like Phoenix, but there's not room for another athletic guard on the Grizz.

Brian Cardinal

Like Stoudemire, Cardinal's Grizzly career has been hampered by injury. It's time to cut our losses. Cardinal reinforces that the Grizzlies don't need veteran role players, and Cardinal is ridiculously overpaid. It's time to move on...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Grizzlies Should Keep These Players

In addition to drafting a new player who can contribute next season, the Grizzlies have some work to do on their current roster. Here are the players they should keep:

Pau Gasol

Ok, if the right deal comes along maybe he should go. I think the Grizzlies aren't likely to get fair value for Gasol. They're likely to get a collection of young guys who have potential, but that's moving in the wrong direction. The Grizzlies need to start turning their collection of good players into fewer, better players... That said, Gasol has some areas to work on. Hopefully Coach Iavaroni will help with that.

Kyle Lowry

Lowry gave us glimpses of his ability before he went down at the beginning of the season. It looks like he's going to be a good point guard with the potential to be great. Since he's on his rookie contract, the Grizzlies should keep him and see if he's as good as they hope he is. I'd hate to see him go, only to become the star point guard we need.

Rudy Gay

The next two seasons are critical for Gay. The amount of effort Gay puts into developing his game during the offseason will determine whether he's an All Star or another uber-athletic wing man. The Grizzlies should hang on to him. They can't afford to find out Gay is the second coming of Tracy McGrady after anther botched trade.

Tarence Kinsey

Kinsey reminds me a little of Cuttino Mobley: a little undersized, but talented enough to pull it off. He seems like he's good enough to fill in the blanks, and may turn out to be better than that for some seasons down the road.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Who will the Grizzlies Choose?

I follow NBA basketball pretty closely, but I'm not too familiar with college players. The Commercial Appeal published an article similar to one I wanted to publish here.

That article listed the players that the Grizzlies are likely to pick at 4. The three I like best are Al Horford, Mike Conley Jr., and Brandon Wright in that order. Wright may have the biggest upside, but The Grizzlies already have Rudy Gay and Mike Miller. Unless he looks like he's going to be the next Tracy McGrady, I'd go for Horford to shore up the Grizzlies' front line or Conley to help out at the point.

Many of you probably know better than I who the Grizzlies should draft. I've added a list below. POST A COMMENT stating which player you like the most, and I'll add your vote.

Feel free to mention a player not listed, and I'll add him.

Al Horford 6-10, 245, F/C5
Brandan Wright 6-9, 205, F2
Joakim Noah 6-11, 232, F/C
Corey Brewer 6-9, 185, F
Mike Conley Jr. 6-1, 180, PG4
Acie Law 6-3, 195, PG
Yi Jianlian 7-0, 242, PF
Marc Gasol 7-0, 270, C
Jeremy Hunt 6-5, 210, SG