This past weekend the SB Nation NBA site managers represented each of the NBA's teams with a full first round mock draft complete with trades, barbs, picks, more trades and a bit of luck for your Memphis Grizzlies. Check out the complete mock at Ridiculous Upside, SB Nation's blog about NBA prospects.
I took the burden of making the decision at #22 for the Griz, and although I contemplated trying to move up into the late lottery, my patience and self control paid off in the end as we stuck to our original draft spot.
With the 22nd pick in the SB Nation 2014 NBA Mock Draft, the Grizzlies selected:
Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Here's what I had to say about the pick from our post at Ridiculous Upside:
We're thrilled to have Rodney Hood fall to us at #22. This was basically our dream scenario if we were unable to move up in the draft. The Grizzlies get one of the best shooters in the draft and a wing player that can immediately step in a make an impact on offense - something that has been sorely needed with the rapid decline of Tayshaun Prince's offensive abilities (a player who the Grizzlies will aggressively try to move this summer).
While Hood has some major question marks on defense, we feel that an injection of Grizzlies Grit'n'Grind should turn up his motor on that end of the floor, especially with such a defensively focused head coach in Dave Joerger. Memphis' roster provides enough defensive machismo to hide Hood's weaknesses and put him in favorable match-ups as Tony Allen can usually handle the task of guarding a premier small forward and Marc Gasol can help him find his spots on the court.
The combination of Rodney Hood's shooting skills and experience make him a natural fit for the Grizzlies and their desire to find unselfish players who have an exceptional feel for the game and (as we continue to perennially dwell at the bottom NBA 3-pt-shooting) who can space the floor with accurate perimeter shooting. We'll put some meat on this guy and get him ready for battle in the NBA.
Many of the Top Ten Potential Draft Picks for the Grizzlies were sitting for me at #22, including Cleanthony Early, K.J. McDaniels, T.J. Warren and Glenn Robinson, but a run on guards prior to the Grizzlies pick allowed a late round jewel to fall to us. While Rodney Hood doesn't have what I consider an "NBA ready defensive game," what he offers offensively matched up to the Grizzlies needs too well to pass him up. (Three.Point.Shooting.)
Sometimes the draft just sends your birthday present a little early. I would be fairly shocked if things played out this way, but I would probably be even more shocked if they panned out in this fashion and the Grizzlies didn't take Hood. With a first round selection that brings a skill set that can immediately contribute for the Grizzlies, Memphis has the option of trading into the second round to take a chance on a high-ceiling player who can develop with the Iowa Energy.