I’m not sure how the picture above will turn out. If you can see it, great. If you can’t, you probably don’t want to anyway.
Memphis Grizzlies Draft History Wiki this link will allow you to see the carnage that is the Memphis Grizzlies’ draft history. My favorite team in any sport on this planet is the Memphis Grizzlies. I fell in love when the team arrived in Memphis. I went to games at The Pyramid. The Pyramid is a Bass Pro Shops now. I have more Jason Williams jerseys than I’d like to admit. I’ve been a fan through good and bad.
Here’s one thing I know. The Grizzlies, for the most part, suck at the NBA Draft. Doesn’t matter the owner, the GM, the coach, the year. The Grizzlies typically suck at this. Even when the Grizzlies do get it right (Kevin Love) they screw it up (O.J. Mayo).
Despite the Grizz being mostly bad at this drafting thing, pundits have typically been kind to the team. Maybe it’s grading on a curve. Maybe pundits and experts (like me now) just don’t have a clue. I remember being pre-21 and loving the O.J. trade and not liking the Mike Conley pick. So I am guilty, too. Luckily, unless it’s on Myspace or Facebook, I don’t have any internet proof of my bad takes back then.
The purpose of this article is to show how dumb grading picks immediately after the draft really is. I’m using my Grizzlies as the example because:
A: It’s my team and my site
B: They suck at drafting
I’m not going all the way back to Vancouver but let’s just roll through the last decade or so.
2007: 1st Round. 4th Pick. Mike Conley. PG. Ohio State.
2008: 1st Round. 5th Pick. Kevin Love. F/C. UCLA
The Grizz traded Kevin Love to the Timberwolves for the rights to O.J Mayo. NBAdraft.net gave Memphis a A- for the trade with Minnesota. The same site gave Minny a C- after acquiring the future 5-time All-Star.
2009: 1st Round. 2nd Pick. Hasheem Thabeet. C. Connecticut
ESPN Chad Ford (what happened to him by the way?) didn’t love Thabeet but still gave Memphis a grade of A- for this draft. Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, and Sam Young were the picks. Carroll found success with Boston later on in his career. Young had a solid impact off the bench with the Grizzlies. But the focus here is Thabeet. He sucked. He was a big stiff. Hindsight is 20/20 but Hasheem was drafted ahead of:
James Harden. Stephen Curry. Ricky Rubio. DeMar DeRozan. Jrue Holiday. Taj Gibson.
All in the first round. Brutal.
2010: 1st Round. 12th Pick. Xavier Henry. SG. Kansas
Bleacher Report gave the Grizz a B for the selection of Henry and later Grevis Vazquez in 2010. Henry had the potential to be a “20 point a game scorer” and along with Mayo ” in three years could reasonably be the highest scoring backcourt in the league.” Wow. To be fair, where Memphis drafted, I can’t kill the organization for this pick. The only decent players drafted afterwards were:
Trevor Booker. Eric Bledsoe. Avery Bradley.
Xavier had upside. Upside and potential are the gift and curse of life. I had potential. I’m currently writing an article that four people will read.
The rest of the picks in the future years were all mid to late round picks. Or no picks at all thanks to trades. After roughly pick 15, it’s a crapshoot. There are only 60 picks in the NBA draft. No Tom Brady 6th round miracles in the Association.
This just shows how instant grades can be hit or miss. For the record, I wanted the Grizzlies to dump this year’s pick (and Chandler FUCKING Parsons) to move out of the 4th spot. Hopefully, Jackson pans out and takes his A grade to the All-Star game and playoffs in the future. Until I see it, based on previous grades, I will temper my expectation. And I’ll also sell my Mayo jersey for a nickel.
photo via Google/ESPN