The Memphis Grizzlies held their 5th draft workout on Thursday, and this workout featured a bundle of incredibly talented players. Coach Joerger said this group was the best and most talented group that the Grizzlies had worked out to date. The Grizzlies continue to focus on the back-court in these workouts featuring 2 point guards, 2 shooting guards, and 2 small forwards. It also, however, marked the first time a shooting guard had worked out for the Bears of Beale Street.
Dave Joerger, Head Coach
Memphis Grizzlies' head coach Dave Joerger, as has become customary, was the first one to step in front of the mob of media members after he broke the post workout huddle. Joerger fielded the usual questions about the workout, but then things got interesting. P.J. Hairston's character came into question; Joerger met with Sebastian Telfair for lunch last Saturday; and he addressed the Nick Calathes situation.
6'5" 230 lbs. SG, North Carolina/NBDL. - Projected Draft Position: Late 1st to Early 2nd round. NBA mock drafts are trendy. What I mean by that is when one mock slots a player in a particular spot that looks good, other mocks often follow suit. A trendy pick lately in mocks lately has been P.J. Hairston to the Memphis Grizzlies at 22. The prolifically scoring 2 guard talked about how the draft process has gone for him, and how he was able to mature from his poor decisions that lead to his dismissal at North Carolina.
6'8" 215 lbs. SF. Syracuse. - Projected Draft Position: Late 1st to Early 2nd round. The first word that comes to mind when thinking of the Syracuse sophomore is athlete. Jerami Grant is what one may even refer to as an athletic freak. After the workout, Grant and PJ Hairston held a dunk off, and it was then that I was able to truly appreciate his athletic ability. After throwing down a couple of between the leg dunks that even brought a smile to Grizzlies VP of Basketball Operations John Hollinger's face (I wonder if dunking ability is somehow incorporated into the PER equation, if so, Jermai Grant's PER may have risen a bit during the post workout dunk show), Jerami Grant spoke to the media about what he brings to the table as a player, and what he needs to improve upon to be a serviceable wing in the NBA.
6'1" 175 lbs. PG, Connecticut. - Projected Draft Position: Late 1st round. I cannot fathom a situation in which the leader of the 2014 National Champion UConn Huskies falls out of the 1st round. I do not believe he will make it past Miami at 26, especially with the impending free agency of the current starting point guard Mario Chalmers. Shabazz Napier has been CBSports College Basketball Columnist and local radio host Gary Parrish's mock draft pick for the Grizzlies for the last several months. The point guard talked about the 'grimey', as he put it, Grizzlies and how he might fit in, as well as, making a John Calapari joke and touching on current Grizzly point guard Mike Conley.
6'5" 200 lbs. SG. Washington. - Projected Draft Position: Late 20's to Mid 2nd round. C.J. Wilcox was kind enough to give me a one-on-one interview after the normal media Q&A session in which he did not participate. I received multiple requests to get a few quotes from C.J. mainly because he is a terrific shooter that should be available in the 2nd round, and with all the talk about the Grizzlies looking to move into the 2nd, Wilcox would be a very logical pick. He talked about what he has been hearing from other teams in terms of where he will be drafted, and why he is ready to come in and contribute right away: (Note: C.J.'s interview is significantly shorter than the other due to it being a one-on-one; however, there are some interesting things he had to say.)
The team also worked out Jordan Clarkson of Missouri and LaQuinton Ross of Ohio State. Neither of them spoke to the media. Clarkson is projected to be a very late 1st to mid 2nd round pick; while LaQuinton Ross is projected to be a mid to late 2nd round pick and possibly even go undrafted.
The NBA Draft is June 26th, and the Memphis Grizzlies currently hold the 22nd overall pick.