Although the Memphis Grizzlies fought through injuries throughout the season, they still managed to win 50 games and take the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.
As the Grizzlies enter the offseason, their priority will be re-signing power forward power forward Zach Randolph.
However, before they get a deal done, they will have to figure out what they will be doing with the 22nd-overall pick in the first round of next week’s draft. Most expect the Grizzlies will select a swingman and their coach’s comments have only reinforced that belief.
“It’s becoming much more of a playmaking position,” Grizzlies’ head coach Dave Joerger told Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Used to be your shooting guard was a guy you ran off of picks and spot up to make shots. Point guard brought it up and your small forward was a defender and athletic runner. That’s not the case anymore. Teams are playing smaller and small forwards are like having another point guard. They’re having to make plays, create shots for other people and just do more than, say, 10 years ago.”
Tillery believes the Grizzlies are targeting former Clemson Tigers’ forward K.J. McDaniels, former Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant, former Michigan Wolverines’ forward Glenn Robinson III and former Wichita State Shockers’ forward Cleanthony Early.
Robinson, who measured in at 6’6.75″ and 211 lbs. with a 6’10″ wingspan at the NBA’s Scouting Combine, averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game last season. He shot 48.8% from the fiedl, 30.6% from beyond the arc and 75.7% from the free throw line. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express ranks Robinson as the 33rd-best prospect in the draft.
Grant measured in at 6’7.75 and 214 lbs. with an extremely impressive wingspan of 7’2.75. He put up 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 49.6% from the field and 67.4% from the free throw line last season. He is ranked as the draft’s 19th-best prospect.
Early, who measured in at 6’7.25 and 209 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’10.75, put up 16.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7% from the field, 37.6% from three and 84.2% from the charity stripe last season. He is ranked as the draft’s 30th-best prospect.
McDaniels is 6’6 and 196 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’11.25. He went for 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, 30.4% from beyond the arc and 84.2% from the free throw line last season. He is ranked as the 20th-best prospect.