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What Might Have Been: 2014 NBA Draft

Let’s debate.

Memphis Grizzlies v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Over the next week and a half, I’m going to look back at each draft for the Memphis Grizzliessince the infamous 2009 proceedings. I’ll discuss what their pick would’ve been — in a semi-satirical way — if he was selected by another team. In addition, I’ll do the same about players they passed on if they were picked by the Memphis Grizzlies instead. Then, I’ll wrap it up by making sense on the pick and if it was the right call at the time. With that, let’s continue this “What Might Have Been” series with the 2011 draft — the first one with a traded pick.

Check out the 2009 Draft “What Might Have Been” here.

Check out the 2010 Draft “What Might Have Been” here.

Check out the 2011 Draft “What Might Have Been” here.

Check out the 2012 Draft “What Might Have Been” here.

Check out the 2013 Draft “What Might Have Been” here.

This draft was a weird one both in the moment and looking back at it. For starters, the 2014 draft was loaded with talent, headlined by Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiidthat’s funny to think about. The first-round pick at the time was unpopular for the Memphis Grizzlies, as Jordan Adams was an unknown commodity to the common eye. In addition, there were some players left on the board that could’ve — potentially — filled the Rudy Gay-sized hole the Grizzlies have been looking to fill since that trade.

However, the front office made a more popular move in the second round by drafting Memphian and Tennessee Vol Jarnell Stokes.

The results from that draft still leave ripple effects on this team right now, and it still sparks debate in Grizz Twitter every so often.

So yeah, the debate everyone talks about ... Rodney Hood or Jordan Adams? Was Adams the right pick at the time? Was Hood even the best player they passed on?


The Pick — Jordan Adams

What happened:

The analytics benefitted Jordan Adams’ draft position big time. However, he also flashed potential as a two-way guard with a silky smooth offensive game and high basketball IQ. He was in Dave Joerger’s doghouse, which doesn’t do him any favors, but the injury bug ruined his career. He was productive and promising when given minutes, but his little amount of opportunity and the severity of his knee issues killed any momentum he could generate.

What Would’ve Happened if He Went to Another Team:

He would’ve been healthy and good.


The “What Might’ve Been”

  • Rodney Hood

What Happened:

Rodney Hood’s career has been a mixed bag. He’s flashed promise as the prototypical NBA wing, but he’s also disappeared. After 5 years in the league, I don’t know what he is — a starter or a bench player?

What Might’ve Happened if he became a Grizzly:

Jeff Green 2.0 — sorry, Joe.

(There are other players better than Hood, but people only debate about him).


There’s a lot to talk about with this draft.

For starters, Rodney Hood looked like the right pick at the time, and it seemed that way because he had more exposure at Duke. He also would’ve been the starter at the 3 alongside the Core 4.

Does that mean Adams was the wrong pick at the time? Not necessarily. He was productive, and he could’ve been a complementary piece next to a future core. He just never got a chance to prove himself, and injuries derailed him from proving himself on another team.

Is Hood the guy we should be debating for? Probably not. I would be more upset about passing on Kyle Anderson, Joe Harris, or Bogdan Bogdanovic. Any of those players are better than Hood right now. Easily. Beat yourself up over passing on them, not Rodney Hood. Personally, I would’ve taken Bogdanovic or Anderson instead, knowing what I know now.

A bigger concern here is the Jarnell Stokes pick. It’s easy to say he was just a hometown pick, even though he was productive at Tennessee. Who did they pass on though?

Nikola Jokic.

The Grizzlies were reported to like Jokic, but thought 35 was too high for him.

LOL.

If he were a Grizzly, would he be the MVP candidate he is with Denver? I don’t know, probably not. It’s at least an interesting topic, because Jokic would’ve been the heir to either Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol’s throne. He could’ve made it easier to trade or move on from those guys sooner to usher in a new era. Or, they would’ve traded him, and he’d be the point god of centers elsewhere.

Who knows.

This draft teaches two very valuable lessons. One, invest in your first-round picks; find time throughout the season where they can learn by being thrown into the fire a bit. Second, when it comes to the second round, no pick is too high for a player. The second round is a crapshoot, just get your guy.

[Daydreams about Nikola Jokic and Jaren Jackson Jr. in the same frontcourt]

[Sheds a tear]

[Cries harder]

[Wipes tears] Oh, what could’ve been?

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