The Memphis Grizzlies have a pretty ugly track record when it comes to drafting players out of college, it seems. And the few draft picks they do hit on end up getting traded away without compensation, it seems. Last night the Grizzlies finally laid to rest their 28th pick from the 2010 NBA draft as they waived Russ Smith to make room for Ryan Hollins.
Here's the 5-year long journey of that pick:
- June 24th, 2010: Memphis Grizzlies select Greivis Vásquez 28th overall
- December 24th, 2011: Vásquez was traded to New Orleans in exchange for Quincy Pondexter
- October 31, 2013: Pondexter signed a four-year contract extension with the Grizzlies
- January 12, 2015: Pondexter was traded to New Orleans in a three-team deal that netted Russ Smith
- December 28th, 2015: Russ Smith waived for ... nothing ... well, space, I guess
I expected Russ to usurp Beno Udrih for the backup PG minutes this season, but it's obvious that he's not ready to take on that type of role with Memphis. The acquisition of Mario Chalmers in November really took Russ down a notch in terms of playing time, both potential and actual. You could almost predict something was up when he started getting bounced down to the D-League last week.
And so the Memphis Grizzlies continue to dip their toes into the small-ball wading pool of the NBA, but Dave Joerger still obviously feels more comfortable having extra size on the back end of the roster. We knew back during training camp that Ryan Hollins' big frame was some what of a security blanket for Joerger after the departure of Kosta Koufos. Joergz and Co. ultimately decided that they didn't want to continue on with Zach Randolph/Jeff Green as their 2nd largest player while Brandan Wright rehabs from knee surgery.
I doubt this moves the needle in anyone's mind, but I didn't think Chalmers would have any impact so maybe we'll see Ryan Hollins bust out a 29-pt game this week. (nyuck nyuck nyuck)
But what this does mean is that we're now a Mario Chalmers ankle roll away from seeing Jeff Green run point for 10 minutes a game. What a time to be alive!