With the 25th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft the Memphis Grizzlies select Jordan Mickey, Forward, LSU.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, this draft doesn't include Bill Laimbeer, Darryl Dawkins, or Anthony Mason. Late-1980s-style floor warriors are in short supply these days. Failing that, someone slipped a note to the front office that they could probably use somebody who can score from outside the paint. After all, Memphis was 4th in defensive efficiency but only 13th in offensive in 2015, and a couple more made buckets would have been nice against the Warriors in the playoffs, where their eFG percentage of .439 was worse than Boston's during their Broom Event against the Cavaliers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Seriously Memphis, do you ask Hollinger for input over there or do you have him engaged in some Simon-Says deathmatch to prevent thermonuclear war?
Needless to say, that note about scoring was burned. Get that weak sauce outta the paint!
Come draft time, though, the Grizzlies may have no choice but to take a shooter. They could get a backup PF or perhaps a F/C to replace Kosta Koufos in the big-man rotation. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol can't play all the minutes. Sadly for them Montrezl Harrell and Justin Anderson are off the board in this scenario. They could also go Euro for a stash, perhaps, but I don't expect that. They're built to compete right now and are looking for perimeter help them do so, despite their blood-oath to never add a shooter while the organization remains in the great state of Tennessee.
It's possible somebody tries to sneak a PF with a little range like Christian Wood onto the board when no one is looking, but he's gonna need some serious work both in the gym and the weight room to play defense the way the Grizz like to play it. If you want a dark horse, though, he's one. If RJ Hunter was still on the board he might be a possibility here, but really... Memphis defines their culture by two words: Defense and Effort. You can't give those things, you can't play there. Shooting is optional, and they live and die by their definition of self.
So forget shooting, or guys with defensive reluctance. That's not Memphis Basketball. Memphis will probably buy a 2nd round pick to use on a perimeter guy (just based on their pre-draft workouts) so I expect them to go to their wheelhouse with their first-rounder.
Based on who's left on the board, I've gotta go with Jordan Mickey.
Undersized PF with great length? Check. Built tough with some muscle already? Check. Already worked out with the Grizz and impressed them? Also check. He's fast, strong, athletic, defensive-minded, and can grind and motor when he wants to. Mickey can run the floor, protect the lane, get his hands into passing lanes and block his share of shots despite being height-challenged. Z-Bo has the same sorts of body limitations but was a better offensive player coming out of college.
That said, if there's somebody you would want Mickey learning from it would be Randolph, who knows all the tricks inside and can help him with his footwork and angles in attacking taller players with the reach advantage. That's useful since right now Mickey's offensive arsenal is the dunk, the sketchy jumphook, the face-up jumper with the iffy release time, and the pray-for-a-foul heave.
That said, Mickey can already handle the pick-and-roll from a defensive standpoint, has good perimeter movement skills, and I don't think his stroke is broken. He's only a sophomore and needs offensive work, but doesn't everybody who comes to Memphis? They've actually done a really good job getting more out of some one-dimensional guys than I thought they would. They're gonna have to teach Mickey how to be a role-player and do his part, but the part they would be asking him to do is something he should be able to pull off.
He's no stretch-4, but a tough defender of both forward positions who can hit some twos and go to the rack? Yeah, he can do that, and that's what Memphis likes. Jordan Mickey, next year's PF backup for the Grizzlies.
Now all they need is somebody who can put the round thing in the basket from outside 14 feet.
Here is a breakdown of the draft so far:
|1||T-wolves||Russscot||Karl Anthony Towns|
|2||Lakers||Rocky Mountain Way||D'Angelo Russel|
|9||Hornets||It's the LAW SON||Devin Booker|
|10||Heat||teenasty||Willie Cauley Stein|
|15||Hawks||George Karl Marx||Sam Dekker|
|22||Bulls||What you Shawquin about?||RJ Hunter|
Bluefrogjam and the San Antonio Spurs are on the clock.