The Phoenix Suns have taken Skal Labissiere at #13 overall, and now the time has come for the Memphis Grizzlies to select. Remember, they (well, I) sent Brandan Wright, #17 overall, a 2018 and 2019 2nd round pick, and the 2019 1st round pick Memphis got from the Jeff Green trade to the Mock Chicago Bulls. Nikola Mirotic is now a (mock) Grizzly, and the Grizzlies are on the clock.
With the 14th overall pick in the 2016 Grizzly Bear Blues Community NBA Mock Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select...
Denzel Valentine, Guard/Forward, Michigan State University
(Brian Spurlock- USA Today Sports)
This is exactly who I wanted at #14 overall, and I am ecstatic he is here for the picking.
Yes, he isn't a tremendous athlete. And yes, his foot speed is lacking and may limit him defensively. And yes, he will be 23 in November and is potentially a finished product.
That potentially finished product is damn impressive, however.
Here are three reasons why Denzel Valentine is the man for Memphis at #14-
- He is not just a shooter- he is a creator. Sure, his 44.4% three-point percentage as a Senior at Michigan State is fantastic, and the 41.6% that he shot the season before is evidence of skill and not a fluke performance. However, his greatest strength as a basketball player is as a passer- he has tremendous vision and averaged 7.8 assists to go with his 19.2 points per game this past season. He can make opportunities for himself offensively in a variety of ways- off the dribble, in the post, in transition- and at a variety of positions. Valentine can play anywhere on the perimeter, from point guard to small forward. That versatility on the offensive end is exactly what Memphis needs.
- He is not just an offensive player- he's a glass eater. Valentine was a very good rebounder for Michigan State, averaging 7.5 rebounds a game for the Spartans. His ability to clean the boards is further proof of the fact that Valentine is a very good basketball player- athleticism alone does not make a player great at the game of basketball. It certainly helps, and coaches believe they can make basketball players, but watching tape of Valentine rebounding confirmed for me what I thought I knew after his offensive play- the guy won't wow you with his burst, but he stands out for his skill set and tools on his basketball tool belt.
- He is a competitor- and a Spartan. Tom Izzo was a key mentor for this young man for four seasons. Valentine learned how to play the game from one of the very best that teaches it at the college level, and that is invaluable. Draymond Green as a result is a natural comparison for Valentine, but it isn't a good one physically- different sizes, different NBA positions. It is good, however, when it comes to leadership and toughness, and they both got that partly from their time in East Lansing, Michigan. Between his Izzo ties and the built-in mentor that is fellow Spartan Zach Randolph, Valentine will be in good hands. His swagger and mental toughness will come in handy in Memphis, as the Grizzlies continue to transition to a new era of Memphis basketball.
|June 2nd||1/Philadelphia||Brandon Ingram, Forward, Duke University||Joe Mullinax|
|June 2nd||2/LA Lakers||Ben Simmons, Forward, LSU||Corban Ford|
|June 3rd||3/Boston||Marquese Chriss, Power Forward, Washington||Chip Williams|
|June 3rd||4/Phoenix||Dragan Bender, Power Forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv||Kyle Whittington|
|June 6th||5/Minnesota||Buddy Hield, Guard, Oklahoma||Aimee S|
|June 6th||6/Denver||Jamal Murray, Guard, Kentucky||Mopizzle11|
|June 7th||7/Denver||Domantas Sabonis, Forward/Center, Gonzaga||Mopizzle11|
|June 7th||8/Sacramento||Kris Dunn, Guard, Providence||Brandon C|
|June 8th||9/Toronto||Henry Ellenson, Forward, Marquette||Tabitha|
|June 8th||10/Milwaukee||Timothe Luwawu, Guard/Forward, Mega Leks||Kevin Yeung|
|June 9th||11/Boston||Jaylen Brown, Guard/Forward, California||Chip Williams|
|June 9th||12/Utah||Jakob Poeltl, Center, Utah||BealeStreetKen|
|June 10th||13/Phoenix||Skal Labissiere, Forward/Center, Kentucky||Kyle Whittington|
|June 10th||14/Memphis||Denzel Valentine, Guard/Forward, Michigan State||Joe Mullinax|
|June 13th||15/New Orleans||Wes George|
|June 13th||16/Orlando||Daron Koch|
|June 14th||17/Chicago||Brandon C|
|June 15th||19/New Orleans||Wes George|
|June 15th||20/Indiana||Aimee S|
|June 16th||22/Charlotte||Justin Sims|
|June 17th||23/Orlando||Daron Koch|
|June 17th||24/Philadelphia||Joe Mullinax|
|June 20th||25/LA Clippers||Kevin Lipe|
|June 20th||26/Philadelphia||Joe Mullinax|
|June 21st||28/Phoenix||Kyle Whittington|
|June 22nd||29/San Antonio||Jill Kong|
|June 22nd||30/Golden State||rhinoh23|