March 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Oregon State Beavers forward/center Angus Brandt (12) defends Washington Huskies guard Tony Wroten (14) in the quarter finals of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament at the Staples Center. Oregon State won 86-84. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Author's Note: Today is the NBA Draft, or as I like to call it, Christmas in June. Here at SOV, I'll be writing semi-rational profiles for my three favorite prospects. Here's to hoping one or all of them is available when the Grizzlies are on the clock. We've already covered that French kid and Jeff Teague's brother, now we're onto Tony Wroten, who hails from the same state that produced grunge music...cheers all around!
19 Years Old, 6'6", 209 lbs., PG/SG, Washington
Best Song for a Future Highlight Reel: "Rusty Cage"-Soundgarden
What He Brings to the Table: At 6'6" Wroten has great size for either the 1 or 2. He makes great use of his size and ballhandling ability to power his way to the rim. Additionally, he's a great positional rebounder. On the defensive end, he has the physical tools to be a good defender, but gambles too often for steals.
What He Lacks: A consistent jumper and, according to some scouts, a conscience
Best-Case Comparison: Tyreke Evans (Draft Express), Iman Shumpert (NBADraft.net)
Worst-Case Comparison: Marcus Banks (Draft Express), Bad Tyreke Evans
Obligatory Highlight Reel:
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for basketball reasons): Wroten gives us a replacement for O.J. Mayo, should he leave in free agency (he should). Although his game is nothing like O.J's, he should be able to provide similar production. While his jumpshot will never be as good as O.J.'s, he should be able to develop it enough so that defenses can't lay off him. Finally, Wroten gives the Grizzlies a ton of versatility; he can play the point in the second-unit or play alongside Mike Conley in the first unit. Theoretically, his size also allows him to guard three positions. Tony Wroten's presence allows the team a bit more room to explore trade scenarios for O.J. or Rudy.
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for non-basketball reasons): I've covered this already, so I'm just going to copy my answer:
Wroten gives us a chance at rewriting history. Wroten's been compared to Tyreke Evans, so selecting him with the 25th pick is basically the equivalent of getting a mulligan on the Thabeet pick. It's also a nice addition to overall Memphis redemption narrative.
We can also never have too many Tonys' on the team.