So it's three days past draft day. The Grizzlies have acquired Hasheem Thabeet, Sam Young, DeMarre Carroll, and Quentin Richardson. Hasheem was taken with the #2 overall, a move that I've advocated against from the start, Young and Carroll came in the early second and late first, respectively. Finally Q-Rich was traded to the Grizzlies in a straight-up swap for Darko Milicic. Obviously it was a big day in terms of aquisitions, so with a few days of mulling under my belt I'm going to dive in and make a few conjectures about each of these.
#2- Hasheem Thabeet- You can't be serious. Look I don't mind Thabeet, he is an interesting prospect. But, as I've noted before, this kid will not be blocking 4 shots a game in the NBA. If he blocks two shots a game then you saved, maybe, 4 points. Guess how many points you're losing on the other end with his terrible offense? I don't know exactly, but I'm assuming close to six. And that's not even considering the fact that he plays awful one-on-one post defense.
Instead of Thabeet the Grizzlies could have drafted Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans, Jordan Hill, or Stephen Curry. Or they could have traded down and gotten Terrence Williams or Brandon Jennings. Mark my words, every one of these players will have a better career than Hasheem.
Worse yet, if the Grizzlies really were convinced that they needed a defensive stalwart or shotblocker, why not trade to acquire one once free agency starts. Tyson Chandler is obviously available, Samuel Dalembert is free if you take his contract, Tyrus Thomas is being shopped, Camby is out there (albeit for a decent price). The idea of a Tyson Chandler's 10-9-2 blocks being more valuable then the numbers has, in many ways, fallen apart in the past year or so. Every competitive team jumpshoots well enough to nuetralize that advantage. Think of this playoffs, even Dwight, the most dominant shotblocker in the league, didn't really make mark on any series with this skill. The only effective shotblocker this postseason was Chris Anderson, and that has more to do with the persona and swag then the block itself.
Worst yet, the Grizzlies appear to have turned down some very fair offers for their pick. We'll discuss Randolph tommorrow with the Darko-Richardson trade, so let's focus on the number 2 pick for now.
First the Suns offered Amare Stoudamire for Rudy Gay and the number 2 pick. This trade would have been suicidal, namely because Stoudamire is in the final year of his contract. If they had lost Gay and a player who will hopefully be a better than average NBA starter for Amare, who then might have fled the next year, the franchise would be set back close to two years in rebuilding. A lineup of Conley, Mayo, Buckner, Stoudamire, Gasol wouldn't have made the playoffs, so obviously we're not looking at a viable transaction here.
The killer was the second offer the Grizzlies received, Michael Beasley for the #2, apparently straight up. Beasley is now a proven commodity who provided excellent per minute production in his rookie campaign and is almost certain to grow a near All-Star caliber game. Yes, he comes with character and motivation questions (Zach Randolph was a trade target, the Grizz weren't actually worried about character), but growing with a young core would hopefully get him into better habits. How could you not pull the trigger on this? There is almost no chance that Thabeet ever contributes the kind of PER Beasley put up in his first season. Honestly, the consensus #1-2 in a very strong draft, versus the consensus #2-5 in a very weak draft. No question that the Grizzlies made a mistake on this one. Also Beasley fits the lineup better, as Gasol won't need to limit minutes at center to get him on the court. I hated this pick, which would have surrounded Gasol and Darko with 4 very young and effective scorers who can all shoot from anywhere on the court. Additionally, Beasley would have provided a third electric finisher to pair with Warrick or Gay. Unquestionably the failure of the day.
Wow, this was really upsetting. I'm still shocked and appalled.