Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Final Word at #5 and #28

If the millions (and millions -- thanks Rock!) of trade rumors produce nothing of substance for the Memphis Grizzlies (although I really liked that Lowry/#28 for Kleiza/#20 swap with Denver that died when the Nuggets traded the pick to Charlotte), then we'll still have the #5 and #28 picks in this draft. So here are our top two choices for each of those selections.

Pick #5
JC: Kevin Love and Eric Gordon
I really think that it will come down to these two players anyways, so why not go ahead and state the obvious. Kevin Love will be a solid force in the frontcourt for the next 10-15 years and will provide plenty of toughness and intelligence along the way. Besides, I can't wait for the first time they run that end-of-the-game full-court alley-oop from Love to Rudy Gay for a game-winning bucket.

Eric Gordon is the higher risk/reward prospect of the two. His athleticism and skillset lend themselves to being a star on the next level, even as the questions of his size make people forget that he was one of the top 3 players in college prior to his injury this past winter. I'll be happy with either one of them in Beale Street Blue next season.

Chip: Kevin Love and Eric Gordon
Love is the best rebounder in Memphis history if we draft him. Seriously, I honestly believe that. Throw in his passing skills, long range shooting and leadership skills and he is the obvious pick at #5. Unless a deal is in place to trade Miller, Lowry and Gasol to Miami for Beasley in which case Memphis needs a SG and Gordon is the man.

MemphisX: Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Love
Gallinari - Danilo and Gasol would be a difficult to defend pick and roll combination especially with Gallinari at the 4. Supposedly be measured 6'10 in socks. I think the pick and roll is the most effective half court set and the more players that can excel at it the better.

Kevin Love - Another good pick and roll guy. Adds physical and mental toughness to the team. Will be better than most think in the league. Can he keep the weight off?

Zack: Kevin Love and Danilo Gallinari
Love - I like his skill, but I'm concerned about his weight and size. In the end, he wants to be here and will not be spectacular, but will clearly be very solid for years to come.
The Italian Stallion - Hopefully his guard skills in a SF body translate and we go big and try to cause matchup problems.

Pick #28
JC: Bill Walker and D.J. White (unless Chris Douglas-Roberts is still on the board)
Whichever direction the Grizzlies go with the first pick (paint or perimeter), I'd expect them to weigh their options and likely go in the other direction at #28. Walker is a tremendously talented player with a reputation for having a very high basketball IQ and a willingness to learn and develop to go with his outstanding athleticism. White is one tough hombre in the post and would instantly elevate the intensity level of those around him as a solid presence off the bench. If the more coveted players such as CDR are already gone, then either of these players would be a good addition.

Chip: Nicolas Batum and Bill Walker
I like talented players falling on health concerns late in the draft. Batum is falling because of rumors of a bad heart. Walker is falling because he tweaked his knee. Both could be legitmate concerns but if they aren't Memphis pulls a Josh Howard/Tayshaun Prince type of pick (and possibly some redemption for the Gasol pick).

MemphisX: J.J. Hickson and D.J. White
J.J. Hickson - Very young with untapped potential. Physical and athletic. Good hands. Good finisher.

D.J. White - Just 21 and very productive at Indiana. He impacts the game on offense, defense and the boards. Long arms. Plays big. Tough guy.

Zack: Chris Douglas-Roberts and Nicolas Batum
CDR - I love his game and think he will be one of the top 10 players from this draft in 10 years. Trade up for him if we have to. I love the way he can find ways to score - just ask Brandon Rush and Russell Westbrook.
Batum - He's slipping due to heart problems, so he is probably a value pick, but will he get past Portland at their newly acquired #27 pick?

BallHype: hype it up!

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