Author's Note: This year the Grizzlies hold the 41st, 55th, and 60th picks in the NBA Draft. For the next two weeks, I'll be writing draft profiles of prospects who fall in that range, starting with the Euro's, because I love me some foreign players. We've already covered the European Matt Bonner and Tony Wroten's spitting image, so today we'll be looking at the Barcelona dreamboat, Marko Todorovic.
21 Years Old, 6'11", 240 lbs., C, FC Barcelona Regal (via Montenegro)
Best Song for a Future Highlight Reel: "Countdown"-Beyonce*
What He Brings to the Table: Fluidity, Inside Scoring Presence, Upside
What He Lacks: Exposure, Strength
Best-Case Comparison: Marcin Gortat (Foreign Flopper)
Worst-Case Comparison: Francisco Elson (Foreign Flopper)
Obligatory Highlight Reel: This actually a video from his previous team Prat Joventut
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for Basketball Reasons): Admittedly, you cannot help but be skeptical about a prospect who is only averaging about seven minutes a game in the ACB, but those seven minutes need to be placed within their proper context: he plays for Barcelona.
For those of you who don't know much about basketball outside the US (which is probably most of you), then all you need to know is that Barcelona's basketball squad is just as dominant as their football team (and if you don't follow soccer, then I can't even begin to help you). Also much like their football counterparts, the team is so loaded with talent that they can afford to have NBA prospects like Todorovic and Alex Abrines as well as former NBA player Nathan Jawai come off the bench. Their starting center and starting power forward are two of the best bigs in Europe, meaning that Marko Todorovic's minutes are few and far between.
That being said, he has looked good in his limited appearances, and his per-minute numbers are strong for the Spanish league. Essentially, if the Grizzlies opt to draft Todorovic, they'll be putting their faith in Barcelona's history of producing excellent NBA prospects.
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for non-Basketball Reasons): Understand that I say this as a heterosexual male who is getting married next week, but Marko Todorovic is kind of dreamy. He sort of looks like Justin Bieber, except he's not an obnoxious little twerp who inspires people to want to punch him in the face.
Now take a look at the current Memphis roster. As near and dear as this bunch is to our hearts, they're not going to be gracing the cover of GQ any time soon, except for Darrell Arthur (who, incidentally, has "Shirtless" as one of the suggestions during a Google Image search....the internet never fails to make me laugh). And yes, looks don't win basketball games, but they do inspire hoards of teenage girls to buy tickets. Seriously, does anyone remember how apeshit people in Minnesota went when Ricky Rubio came over?
Never forget that Memphis is one of the smallest markets among NBA franchises. While the team has definitely outperformed many of the larger markets in terms of attendance (Memphis was 19th in home attendance this past season), we never should stop looking for ways to expand our fanbase and sometimes that means drafting a player who makes teenage girls swoon.*
Mock Draft Predictions: #45 Portland (Draft Express), Undrafted (NBADraft.net)
*- I should explain my general criteria for song choice; if you've any watch highlight reels on YouTube, then you've probably observed that generally the song tends to be a rock song (for a white player) or a hip-hop song (for a black player). This is bullshit and exactly what I'm trying to get away from. I chose this particular song because the changes in rhythm throughout the song lend themselves well to a highlight tape-during the slower parts you could have simple layups, putbacks, etc. and have major dunks or blocks during the chorus-and because you could have a huge clip of Todorovic dunking on the Rockets or rejecting someone's shot when Beyonce says "Houston Rocket!"
*- Another important point for anyone who felt uncomfortable reading about Todorovic's handsomeness: even the goofiest-looking European players usually end up marrying supermodels, lest we forget Marko Jaric and Adriana Lima or Sasha Vujacic and Maria Sharapova. If we draft Todorovic, we can pretty much expect to see a European supermodel sitting on the sidelines at the FedEx Forum.