As the Memphis Grizzlies continue to have various prospects come through Memphis and work out for the club, NBA Draft experts and sites continue to tinker with their mocks. Here are some of the latest updates about just what the Memphis Grizzlies may be planning to do at #17 overall in this year's NBA Draft.
Previous Memphis selection- Taurean Prince, Forward, Baylor University
The Grizzlies go big here according to Draft Express, who talks about Sabonis glowingly with regard to his overall basketball skill set. From Matt Kamalsky of Draft Express-
Though he may not be an elite physical specimen, smart, fundamentally sound big men with win-first mentalities like Sabonis frequently provide value at the NBA level with their ability to do the dirty work inside. Playing exceptionally well down the stretch this season, Sabonis left NBA decision-makers with a lot to think about looking very comfortable against likely top-10 pick Jakob Poeltl.
His upside may not be as obvious as some of the freakishly big or athletic underclassmen typically coming out of the NCAA ranks, but at just 19 years old, he already has a nice foundation of tools to build upon and may prove more capable against NBA length and athleticism as his game continues to blossom into his 20s.
Sounds like a solid, no-risk pick at #17. Memphis is relatively set in the front court with young Jarell Martin and inexpensive (and solid role player) JaMychal Green, but Zach Randolph is entering the last year of his contract and maybe Sabonis could use a year of development before taking on a larger role. What he lacks defensively at the moment for being an average at best athlete he makes up for with his persistence and desire to do what it takes to be victorious.
A Memphis trait to be sure, and be honest, you've always wanted to see a Sabonis playing alongside Marc Gasol. Maybe not THIS Sabonis, but his son would do if he is available at #17.
Previous Memphis Selection- Mailk Beasley, Guard, Florida State
Now this is more like it, NBADraft.net. When last we rounded up mock draft results, I hated the idea of Beasley being a Grizzly. Nothing against Beasley personally- I just grow weary of undersized wing scorers (Jordan Adams). Korkmaz is compared by NBADraft.net in terms of game to Gordon Hayward, and he has a bigger frame that would potentially make him more viable as a perimeter player at both wing positions. NBADraft.net's Merih Sorkut uses phrases like this to describe Furkan...
...natural born scorer...
...He's very aggressive in looking for penetration towards the basket thanks to his agility and speed...
...His shooting skill is simply outstanding ...He never shies away from shooting the ball when he is open...
Yes, his defensive game is still developing. But young Korkmaz is only going to be 18 when he is drafted (he turns 19 the next week) and his game has plenty of room for growth, which is saying something considering Sorkut of NBADraft.net says his game has grown tremendously in just two seasons overseas. He has great experience in leadership positions on his teams at such a young age, and he relishes those experiences. Put him in Memphis' locker room with Tony Allen helping show him the ways of "Grit and Grind" defense (hopefully) and Korkmaz may be a home run at #17 overall.
The kid can score. He has the frame to potentially defend multiple positions, and the time to grow into a role with the Grizzlies. This would be a good-to-great selection for Memphis.
We broke down both point guards in the last mock round up, so no need to rehash here. I will, however, share CBS' Gary Parrish's thoughts on Baldwin IV from his Q&A with our own Jeremy Jordan earlier this week-
He measured well at the combine and checks a bunch of boxes. Good size for a point guard. Can play either guard position. Crazy wingspan. Shoots it well from the perimeter. Some question his leadership. But he won't need to be a leader as a rookie on an NBA team. So I like him. If the Grizz end up with him, I won't be surprised or disappointed.
Agreed, Gary. Last but not least...
ESPN.com's Chad Ford- Ivica Zubac, Center, Bosnia
A name that not too many folks are familiar with perhaps, but with the announcement of him and others (including Furkan above) staying in the NBA Draft expect to see his name pop up more. He is 7'1", 265 pounds, can move well for his size and has great hands with an offensive skill set that can really set up himself and others nicely.
Sound familiar? Sounds like Mini-Marc. Here is what Ford has to say on the pick-
Zubac's offensive game is attractive to teams looking for big men who can still score in the paint. The Grizzlies, of course, have Marc Gasol to do much of that. But as he continues to get older, having a player like Zubac to back him up is key.
The back-up center question remains key in Memphis, considering the questions surrounding Brandan Wright's health after this season. Wright is not as big as Zubac anyway, so this pick would bring a different look to Memphis' front court that they desperately need at this time- Gasol is the only 7-footer on the roster currently that will surely be in Memphis this coming season.
Zubac would be a sound developmental project for new Head Coach David Fizdale and would allow for the Grizzlies matchup with larger bench bigs when necessary. Seems like a win-win.
The draft is only nine days away! Sooner rather than later, the Grizzlies will be on the clock and we will get our first taste of where Memphis is heading this off-season.