We’re at an interesting part of the big board here, as we enter the last portion.
There shouldn’t be much negative uproar if any of these players go to the Memphis Grizzlies at the 40th pick, despite their ranking. At the end of the day, it’s a second round pick where it’s mostly a shot in the dark.
However, given the correct situation and developmental program, any of these players could find themselves as role players in the NBA. As we get to the last part of our consensus big board, which of these prospects would make good Grizzlies?
Big board participants — myself (@PAKA_FLOCKA), Joe Mullinax (@JoeMullinax), Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham), Nathan Chester (@NathanChester24), Shawn Coleman (@StatsSAC), Ben Hogan (@NotTheGolfer), Justin Lewis (@J_Timberfake_), Lauren Harvey (@DragicKingdom), EdMemphis (@SquareBidness), Greg Ratliff (@GregRatliff), Jesse Cinquini (@CinquiniJesse).
51) Yam Madar, 6’3” guard, Israel
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (44): Sure, the three point percentage isn’t inspiring. But his passing is...as is his intensity on the floor. He has a Memphis edge about him in the way he approaches the game. He also checks a box that is apparently important to this Grizzlies front office - being extremely smart with possession of the basketball. He has a very good set of dribbling skills, and while he sometimes forces passes it’s evidence of his extreme belief in his abilities. It’s possible his lack of size limits his NBA potential, and again he isn’t the best shooter in this draft - and that’s being polite. But he’s shown growth in that regard recently, and his defensive tenacity and ability to use his body in a variety of ways would be endearing to Memphis from the beginning. He’d be a great developmental point guard for the Grizzlies.
GBB Associate Editor Parker Fleming (55): Yam Madar seems fun as hell, but he’s not a good shooter, and he doesn’t have the size to defend across positions. With his playmaking acumen though, I can look foolish here.
52) Mason Jones, 6’5” wing, University of Arkansas
GBB Senior Staff Writer Nathan Chester (36): Mason Jones is the latest prospect that GM’s will almost certainly overthink. He was one of the most productive players in college basketball last year and is a skilled three-level scorer. The Grizzlies should pick him at 40.
GBB Staff Writer Greg Ratliff (60): Can Mason Jones score? Yes. But that’s about the extent of his current abilities. Mason could be a late first round pick if he could defend even at an average rate.
53) Abdoulaye N’Doye, 6’7” guard, France
GBB Staff Writer Jesse Cinquini (46): The Frenchman boasts awesome measurables for a combo guard, as he stands at 6’6” with a 7’3” wingspan. N’Doye loves to use his length, speed, and tight handle to enter the lane with one quick first step, where he then shows off his excellent touch on floaters. Albeit a work in progress defensively due to a lack of effort at times (which can be said for many draft prospects), he has looked promising when engaged due to his ability to disrupt guards with his active hands and lengthy reach. All in all, he can make a two-way impact in the NBA.
GBB Staff Writer Lauren Harvey (60): N’Doye certainly has potential on the defensive end with elite size and length for his position but he will need to be more consistent offensively to make him more than a late second round option. He also tends to not take care of the ball which makes me question his fit in an NBA rotation beyond perhaps a defensive specialist.
54) Reggie Perry, 6’10” Big, Mississippi State University
GBB Staff Writer Greg Ratliff (39): Perry is a smart player that can shoot decently and uses his size and length to his advantage on the offensive side of the ball. Needs some work defensively, but he’ll be a great pick up for a team as a nice depth piece for now as he develops.
GBB Associate Editor Brandon Abraham (59): I’m low on Perry because I don’t think he’ll be able to be as big of a bully down low like he was able to at Mississippi State. Similar to Julius Randle, he’s undersized down low but has the skillset to still make things work, though I’m interested to see how Perry’s offensive game translates at the NBA level. Perry forced things on the offensive end at times at State, which led to some bad shot selection and internal frustration for Perry. He’s shown flashes as a shooter and passer but will need to improve on those areas of his game to become a more rounded NBA player.
55) Ashton Hagans, 6’2” guard, University of Kentucky
GBB Senior Staff Writer Nathan Chester (50): Ashton Hagans is ultimately held back by his shooting, but he was an elite floor general in college and comes from the Kentucky pedigree. He has good size as a point guard and will be able to carve out a role in the league.
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (60): Whew boy, where to start. He was a miserable three point shooter at Kentucky this past season (25.8%!), and outside of his defensive numbers (which aren’t bad at all) most advanced stats really dislike his offensive production. He has some decent measurables for the point guard position (a 6’8” wingspan alone may get him drafted), but when it comes to defending without fouling or creating shots without losing possessions (almost 3 fouls per 36 minutes, 1.85:1 assist to turnover ratio per Tankathon) he struggles. He’d certainly be worth a two-way contract if the Grizzlies decide to address the 3rd point guard issue in that manner. But he needs a lot of help with his shot and decision making offensively.
56) Kenyon Martin Jr., 6’7” wing, IMG Academy
GBB Staff Writer EdMemphis (53): Kenyon Martin Jr. hasn’t shown me much aside from his defense & athleticism. He should be improving his shot & range along with his strength & off ball activity on offense
GBB Senior Staff Writer Ben Hogan (60): Kenyon Martin Jr. has the NBA pedigree, but not sure if he has the NBA game. Speaking candidly, I’m not that familiar with his play, but from what I can tell, he’s got potential. But, I’m not sure if he reaches it. I watched some of his highlights while he was at IMG; he’s rough around the edges, and needs to refine at lot of skills (Jump shot, discipline, and defense.)
57) Ty-Shon Alexander, 6’4” wing, Creighton University
GBB Staff Writer Lauren Harvey (36): A plus defender who has improved his shot enough to show two-way potential. He’s not a great shot creator, but he sees the floor well enough to be a true combo guard prospect. If his shooting continues to improve, he is one of the better options in the second round.
GBB Senior Staff Writer Justin Lewis (59): Who? A college junior that I’ve never heard of. He’s listed at 6’4 every where which I get why that makes people excited, but he actually measured out to be my size. A guard that was under 50% from the field and 37% from three in college? Yikes, no thank you. His overall shooting literally got worse every year, when it should be the opposite as you grow as a player. He could still fine tune his game and be a 10th guy on a bench but that’s about all your going to get out of the Creighton guard.
58) Sam Merrill, 6’5” wing, Utah State University
GBB Associate Editor Brandon Abraham (47): I’m high on Merrill because the only major knock on him is his age. He may be 24, but Merrill has been a walking bucket his entire collegiate career. He’s a legit 3 level scorer and has the size to at least be a capable defender. Similar to Skylar Mays, I’m not going to hold Sam’s age against him. He’s proven to be a solid basketball player and shouldn’t be as low as others have him on their boards.
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (58): Ah yes, this year’s John Konchar. This young man does a little bit of everything - but I use the term “young man” loosely, as he is already 24 years old and will turn 25 during the upcoming season. You are taking on a likely close to finished product who only played against Utah State competition. And he dominated that level of play - but again, he was 23 years old! A man in many cases going against 19 and 20 years olds still developing their bodies. So while he certainly can make excellent decisions with the basketball, and he finishes well at the rim, and should at the least be a very good NBA three point shooter, it’s fair to question how much of this statistical brilliance is occurring on a curve that won’t be present in the NBA. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Grizzlies went after Merrill - the numbers love him - and I wouldn’t necessarily hate it if he came to Memphis. But the love affair some have with him seems to ignore the fact his age and competition likely aided his strong end to his college career.
59) Markus Howard, 5’11” guard, Marquette University
GBB Staff Writer EdMemphis (45): Markus Howard is a legit scorer in the right situation. A betting man banks on his ceiling being JJ Barea.
GBB Senior Staff Writer Shawn Coleman (58): Similar to Pritchard, Howard offers very intriguing shooting potential, and has plenty of ways he can score....and score...and score. However, that is really the one relevant skill he offers at this time. He is not a significant playmaker, and with his size, is likely to be a liability on defense. Similar to names such as Carsen Edwards, his saviness as a scorer is certainly something to take a chance on. However, with his lack of size and history of track record of adding little value outside of scoring, Howard’s upside in the NBA could be limited, especially if he finds life as a scorer more difficult.
60) Kaleb Wesson, 6’10” big, Ohio State University
GBB Staff Writer Greg Ratliff (53): Wesson’s biggest asset is his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. He’s got the size to compete in the league as well as long as he can continue working on his mobility.
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (65): Of course, we’re grasping at straws at this stage of the big board. But call me crazy for wanting my center with an almost 7’4” wingspan to block more than 1.2 shots per 36 minutes (per Tankathon). His shooting stroke is attractive, sure - Memphis could always use guys that can score from range and provide much needed spacing. But he wasn’t an efficient scorer (a 56.8% true shooting percentage is...not good at all for a big man) and he didn’t find himself on the creation end of offense very often. Again, if he’s signed on a two-way deal? I wouldn’t blink - everyone at this stage has real flaws and needs to develop. But a true big who struggles protecting the rim is not a priority for me at this stage of the big board - he lacks the defensive versatility that others in this range have at least shown more flashes of.
Other Names featured on boards: Josh Hall (High School), Nick Richards and Kahlil Whitney (University of Kentucky), Jalen Harris (University of Nevada), Anfernee McLemore and Austin Wiley (Auburn University), Naji Marshall (Xavier University), Jon Teske (University of Michigan), CJ Elleby (Washington State University), Justianian Jessup (Boise State University), Karim Mane (Vanier College), Anthony Lamb (University of Vermont), Breein Tyree (Ole Miss), Jordan Ford (Saint Mary’s College), Trevelin Queen (New Mexico State University)
Thank you all for following along with our consensus big board. You can find the rest of them here.
And thank you to the writers who participated in our GBB Consensus big board.