Perhaps availability isn’t the greatest ability after all.
Despite being the only rookie in this class to play in all 82 games this past season, Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies was not on the 2018 All-Rookie Team for the NBA. He “received votes” for the honor, but the actual squad was set up like this-
So if there were an All-Rookie 3rd team, Dillon would have made the cut. But even then, according to this voting there were 14 other rookies who were better this past season than Dillon Brooks.
Is that truly the case? We tackle that question and more in the latest edition of the Roundtable. Joining me this time around are GBB Associate Editor Jack Noonan, GBB Senior Writer Parker Fleming, and GBB Writers Greg Ratliff and Elbert Hubbard Jr.
Let’s jump right in.
Was Dillon Brooks a top 10 rookie this year?
Joe Mullinax, GBB Site Manager (@JoeMullinax)- No. He wasn’t. Now is it fair as a fan to be frustrated he didn’t get shown more “love” by this process? Of course it is. Dillon was extremely important to this season’s Grizzlies. He was voted our GBB MVP! Yet those in front of him, at least in terms of the actual team, all either had better numbers, or a larger impact, overall on their squads regardless of whether they were good or not.
Take pride in the fact he’s the only 2nd round pick in the top 15. It means Memphis drafted very well, and likely took the steal of the draft in terms of later round value. He’s not top 10, however. That’s OK, too - he doesn’t have to be.
Jack Noonan, GBB Associate Editor (@jnoonan1307)- Dillon Brooks came in as my 10th best rookie this year. He was bumped out of the All-Rookie team by Josh Jackson and Bogdan Bogdanovich having great ends to their campaigns. It is unfortunate for the Grizzly faithful for Brooks not to get recognized for a solid season. However, the competition in the rookie class was incredible this year.
Parker Fleming, GBB Senior Writer (@PAKA_FLOCKA)- Yes. Dillon Brooks made the rotation and contributed on a playoff-caliber team (very early on) from day one -- something most rookies didn’t do. In addition, he improved immensely in areas such as perimeter defense, shot creation, and playmaking. However, given the Grizzlies’ sharp fall from grace, Brooks wasn’t in the spotlight as much as the rookies on the All-Rookie squad. The All-Rookie teams may suggest otherwise, but Brooks can establish himself as a top-10 player in this class down the line. And if he doesn’t, it’s not a bad thing, given the depth of the insanely talented 2017 class.
Elbert Hubbard Jr., GBB Writer (@elbertjr_tv)- Forget top 10, I’ll say a top 5 rookie. Brooks in his 82 games impressed this year. He can score, defend on the wing, and create turnovers. In the first games with James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo he played solid defense, drawing extremely difficult assignments not every rookie gets. That should be considered as well.
Greg Ratliff, GBB Writer (@GregRatliff)- No. Statistically he is a fringe Top 10 rookie. I get the impact he had locally, and he showed lots of promise. Promise and a positive impact on a 60-loss team don’t really make you a Top-10 rookie.
What would you be willing to give up to secure the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft?
Mullinax- #4, #32, a 2019 2nd, and a young player. Maybe Marc Gasol and #4. Otherwise, too steep of a price for me. Phoenix probably rejects both of those deals anyway.
Noonan- Nothing that Phoenix would accept in a trade. Grizzlies do not have many future assets, and the Suns do not want aging Marc Gasol or Mike Conley. It puts the Grizzlies in a bind outside of just trading for the number one pick. The Grizzlies need to focus on their pick unless a crazy offer comes in.
Fleming- I’m chill with the fourth pick, because trading up requires you to trade the 4th pick AND Gasol or Conley. Unless you want DeAndre Ayton that badly, it’s not really worth it, especially given the reports that Doncic or Bagley could slip.
Hubbard- I do not see any value worth the #1 pick for the Grizzlies. Not to be negative, but you have an aging center who is a franchise piece in Gasol and a franchise conductor with injury concerns in Conley. The young guys are not even ready to be assets for a trade. Unless they have good players to trade, it is not probable.
Ratliff- If we weren’t picking at 4 I’d be willing to give up just about anything. Whether you’re a Doncic or Bagley or Ayton fan, I think all 3 have the chance to dramatically impact the future of your team. Moving up from 4 would definitely hinder your immediate future but long-term it would be worth it.
Which player, currently projected to be in the 1st round by most, is most likely to fall to Memphis at 32 overall?
Mullinax- I could see Gary Trent Jr. of Duke sliding. He has a very particular skill set - a terrific shooter - but in an NBA where versatility is king, he has not shown the capacity to consistently defend multiple positions or create off the dribble. Much of his (college) game was dependent on others - passes, screens being set, etc. He sees himself primarily as a scorer, and without much else proven to be a priority of his beyond that he may fall. Memphis would be lucky to get him at 32 overall.
Noonan- I really like Chandler Hutchinson out of Boise State to fall to Memphis at 32. He would be a more experienced college prospect, 3 and D type, to fit the roster well. If not him, it would be crazy if Gary Trent Jr. or Donte DiVincenzo could fall for instant sharp shooting.
Fleming- Given his age and maturity issues, Grayson Allen could easily fall from the first round to the Grizzlies. Since his sophomore year, Allen has had first-round stock. However, teams may value upside and youth instead. I’m not trippin’ when I say that Grayson Allen would be an awesome find for the Grizzlies at 32.
Hubbard- Chandler Hutchinson out of Boise State. He might be another Grizzlies sleeper in the draft like Ivan Rabb, even though he is a wing.
Ratliff- Donte Divencenzo. Donte is a bit streaky at times. Which can be a big bonus in certain situations, but he can disappear, too. Plus, I think it’ll take him a bit longer to get acclimated to the NBA seasons, just because he’s always been a bench guy.
Who do you most want to see in Memphis working out for the Grizzlies before the draft?
Mullinax- Aside from Doncic, which isn’t going to happen? Has to be Michael Porter Jr...and not necessarily even for his workout. I want his medical information on his back. Now clearly the Grizzlies do not have the best history with these things, but all the information you can get on Porter’s current health and the state of his back injury is vital to get before using 4 overall on him. He has that talent, but as stated at the beginning of this article, the best ability is availability. If he can’t be what he once was? He isn’t worth 4 overall.
Noonan- Personally, I would love to see Mikal Bridges working out with Memphis. I am higher than most on him but think he would fit very well with this current roster. If Memphis does like him more than what’s available on Draft Night, they should consider moving back and gathering more assets for the future.
Fleming- Michael Porter Jr. He’s by far the biggest enigma in this class. If he’s healthy, he’s the best in this class and fits a need the Grizzlies have desperately needed since Rudy Gay’s departure.
Hubbard- I would like to see a big or wing working out for the Grizzlies. For example, I would like Mohamed Bamba or Luka Doncic to come to Memphis. I know those would be impact players the Grizzlies could choose #4 in the draft.
Ratliff- Marvin Bagley III, MPJ, Jaren Jackson Jr., Wendell Carter, Collin Sexton, Trae Young, Donte Divencenzo, Chandler Hutchinson, Grayson Allen. I think that way you get as many looks at players around where you’re picking.