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, Tony Wroten's spitting image, and Barcelona dreamboat Marko Todorovic. Today we'll take a look at our final European prospect, Spanish man of mystery Alex Abrines. Also, be sure to check out Andrew's profiles of domestic players!
19 Years Old, 6'5", 190 lbs., SG, FC Barcelona Regal
What He Brings to the Table: Spot-up Shooting, Dunks, Swagger
What He Lacks: Consistency
Best-Case Comparison: Jeremy Lin (Foreign Flopper)
Worst-Case Comparison: Willie Green (Foreign Flopper)
Obligatory Highlight Reel:
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for Basketball Reasons): Much like his teammate, Marko Todorovic, Alex Abrines is in the unfortunate position of being a young player on team loaded with veteran talent. Barcelona Regal's starting SG is former-Grizzly and ForeignFlopper-favorite Juan Carlos Navarro--one of the best players in Europe for almost a decade-and the starting SF is Joe Ingles, an Australian Mike Dunleavy-type who has been on the radar of many NBA teams for several years. Thus, Alex Abrines' minutes were again limited this season. Meaning that any NBA team that is considering drafting Abrines is basically putting their faith in Barcelona's ability to find and develop talent. However, this is not necessarily the worst thing as Barcelona is basically a factory for churning out NBA talent:
- Pau Gasol
- Marc Gasol
- Juan Carlos Navarro
- Ricky Rubio
- Anderson Varejao
- Ersan Ilyasova
- Sarunas Jasikevicius
- Francisco Elson
- David Andersen
In other words, if Barcelona's management thinks highly of a player, he's probably pretty good.
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for non-Basketball Reasons): Mystique is something that all artists strive to cultivate; however, it's also an innate quality, and anyone pretending to have it comes across as fake and soulless to the point where they would better if they hadn't even bothered (Foster the People, Kristen Stewart, every Dan Brown novel). On the other hand, those that do have it could coast off it for years if they choose to (Talib Kweli, Vera Farmiga).*
For whatever reason, many foreign basketball players possess an abundance of mystique, although it's often confused with inconsistency. And yes, Hedo Turkoglu has spent years frustrating fans and coaches, but Robert Parrish and Peja Stojakovic also put together fantastic careers, which simply goes to show that mystique has no tangible effect on production. Instead, it simply makes the players even more compelling than they would be otherwise.
Fortunately, mystique is one quality that the Memphis Grizzlies are not lacking in (although, ironically, our token European, Marc Gasol, has practically none of this). That being said, I'm convinced that it's something that you can never have enough of, and Alex Abrines has so much mystique that he probably smokes Marlboro Lights at halftime while listening to the Cure's Disintegration.
Also, he can be Marc Gasol's Spanish buddy.
Mock Draft Predictions: #44 Dallas (Draft Express), #43 Milwaukee (NBADraft.net)
*-To clarify, neither Talib Kweli nor Vera Farminga has been content to simply coast through their respective careers on talent and mystique alone, but if they were to get lazy and quit putting forth an effort, they easily could.