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Ole Dirty Klondike

How Can One Team Be This Bad At Drafting?

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I was just thinking about how the Grizz have managed, well mis-managed, our draft picks the past few years. One of the easiest ways for a small market franchise to become legit is to draft a star in the lottery and keep that star there (from Larry Johnson and Zo Mourning in Charlotte to Kevin Durant and Westbrook in OKC). We have historically seen with the free agency period that most players (good and better than good) typicallly  stay with their own teams when it comes to FA, mainly because their own teams can offer the most money and longer years, thus more security/stability. Yeah, you have had some superstars change zip codes from Shaq spurning Orlando to go the Lakers to Lebrunnnn James taking his talents to South Beach, but for the most part, as we have seen in this FA period, good players stay with their own teams. Most guys that can be had via FA generally have serious flaws (injury concerns, journeymen who produce but still get passed around like a $2 lady of the night, questionable reputation, etc.) The Grizz have done a good job at trading for talent (Z-Bo, Rudy Gay, Courtney Lee, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and others) but when it comes to drafting players, especially lottery picks, for some strange reason, the Grizz strike out time and time again. Mike Conley is the last player the Grizz drafted who has had a significant positive contribution to this team in the past decade.

 

Let’s look at our draft picks/failures over the past few years, let’s go back 10 years, let's’ say 2007 when Chris Wallace joined the Grizz:

 

2007- Michael Conley, Jr. Lottery pick. Had a rough start but has ultimately become a centerpiece of the Grizz franchise

2008-Kevin Love. Lottery pick. Traded for OJ Mayo. Mayo ended up leaving and going to Dallas after a few frustrating seasons of power struggles with Rudy Gay. Mayo has now been kicked out of the league for 2 years for violating the NBA's drug policy.

-Donte Green, traded basically for Darrell Arthur who was a solid back up in Memphis for 4 years before being traded

2009- Hasheem Thabeet. Lottery pick, disaster, nothing more to be said.

-Demarre Carroll. Struggled to find his place in Memphis for 1+ years before being traded. Has had a career resurgence over the past 3 years being a solid starting contributor on playoff contending teams.

-Sam Young, nice pickup for a second round pick but never was able to fit in the system. Was out of the NBA after 4 years. Reportedly was traded after being heckled by teammate (I think Z-Bo) and went and smashed up an elevator.

2010- Xavier Henry. Lottery pick. Not near the disaster that Thabeet was but being that there were still some decent players left on the board who have contributed much more to the NBA than this guy. This lottery pick was a waste. We traded him after 1 year for Mo Speights. Henry is no longer in the NBA.

-Dominique Jones, traded for cash considerations. Wasted pick, no longer in the NBA.

-Greveis Vasquez. I actually liked this guy as a backup. I liked the energy that he brought. Unfortunately, after 1 year, he was traded for QPon. I don’t think that was a good trade. He’s been a decent backup PG for various teams and probably could have helped us.

2011-Josh Selby. Wasted pick. Should have sold it for cash considerations although Isiah Thomas was still on the board. Selby is no longer in the league.

2012- Tony Wroten- Once again, left players on the board that probably could have helped us more than Wroten did. Was traded after 1 year. Had some nice stats on a horrible Philly team before blowing out his knee and was recently claimed off of waivers for his second stint with the Grizz

2013-Jamaal Franklin. Wasn’t he supposed to be the Grind Baby or something? Anyway, waived after 1 year. Wasted pick. Out of the league.

-Janis Timma. Who?

2014-Jordan Adams.  Has played a total of 32 games in 2 years and avg 3 ppg. Dealing with a serious injury. Very well could be another wasted pick.

2015-Jarell Martin. Jury still out, dealt with a foot injury

 

 

It’s amazing that this team has managed to make it to 6 straight playoff appearances including a Western Conference Finals with so many missed opportunities in the draft.  We had 4 straight lottery picks from 2007-2010 and only 1 of those players is still on this team (well, for now he is). Two of our lottery picks during that time are not even in the NBA anymore and a third just got banned from the NBA for 2 years for drug abuse. A small market team cannot continue to squander opportunity after opportunity. It just seems to me to be against all odds that a team could have 4 straight lottery picks and that little success with those picks.

 

I have no idea why this team is so atrocious at drafting talent. We seem to be much better at acquiring players via trade. I just wonder where this team would be if we had done better at assessing talent in the draft.

 

I get the feeling that our best bet on improving this team is through trades but unfortunately, we are very hamstrung with limited assets to trade. Getting a big FA to come would be nice but the other pieces would have to come via trades.

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By my count we are 3(good) - 8(bad) - 1(decent) - 1(incomplete) on these picks.

 

The Bad: Mayo, Thabeet, Carrol, Henry, Selby, Wroten, Franklin, Adams

 

The Good: Conley, Arthur, Vasquez

 

The Decent: Young

 

The Incomplete: Jones

 

Yeah, that's pretty poor. I wish I felt better about Baldwin, but I never really liked him much.

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

By that logic the whole NBA has probably had ten good picks in the last decade.

Player A? Puke, could have had player B!

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

I actually wanted Noah at the time, but I really think they are close in term of player value w/ Conley probably being a little bit better.

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By my count we are 3(good) - 8(bad) - 1(decent) - 1(incomplete) on these picks.

 

The Bad: Mayo, Thabeet, Carrol, Henry, Selby, Wroten, Franklin, Adams

 

The Good: Conley, Arthur, Vasquez

 

The Decent: Young

 

The Incomplete: Jones

 

Yeah, that's pretty poor. I wish I felt better about Baldwin, but I never really liked him much.

 

The thing is, even out of the three that you label as good, they were with the team only a short period of time. I mean, Arthur was technically 5 years but missed 1 due to injury but they got rid of Vasquez after 1 year.

 

 

I don't feel like looking it up but how many teams have had 4 straight lottery picks in the past 10 years and 2 of those players are no longer in the league (Thabeet, Henry), well, technically 3 since OJ is now banned 2 years.

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

 

Come on, X. You were on record shortly after that draft saying that Conley would be a multiple time All-Star and would challenge John Stockton's all time assist record. You were all about Conley at the time.

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The thing is, even out of the three that you label as good, they were with the team only a short period of time. I mean, Arthur was technically 5 years but missed 1 due to injury but they got rid of Vasquez after 1 year.

 

 

I don't feel like looking it up but how many teams have had 4 straight lottery picks in the past 10 years and 2 of those players are no longer in the league (Thabeet, Henry), well, technically 3 since OJ is now banned 2 years.

I count Vasquez b/c he was a good player who had a decent rookie year for us and was then turned directly into Pondexter who had a couple good years w/ us before we turned him into a pick. Basically we took a late 1st and got several good years service out of it, so I think that's a win.

Arthur was another late 1st. Getting 4 years of high-quality role-play from #27 is a definite win. You don't get Arthur's level of production from most late 1sts. Also, remember we turned him into Koufos who gave us another couple years of high-quality role play.

Carrol on the other hand, we got zilch from so he's in the loss column even though he eventually panned out as a very good starter.

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We have certainly missed out on star power. Unfortunately we went for need in the draft lottery instead of talent all of those years. Even if we drafted two players of the same position during different years we could of used one as trade bait. I don't know why they drafted Thabeet when we had Gasol already on the roster though.

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Baldwin and Davis will be viewed as steals of this draft.  It will take a few years as the core players age out toward retirement, then you will see the value of WB and DD.  Remember this post in a couple of years.  This is the "told ya so" in advance.

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Baldwin and Davis will be viewed as steals of this draft. It will take a few years as the core players age out toward retirement, then you will see the value of WB and DD. Remember this post in a couple of years. This is the "told ya so" in advance.

Man I hope

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

X that is an interesting argument...about noah with pau...and to think we had kyle lowry at the time...he was showing flashes of being a great player (and we did draft him by the way)...i remember sitting in fedex for the draft night and watching his face when we drafted mike...you could read it all over his face he knew his time in memphis was done...

 

mike has been good...but what IF we had kept kyle and drafter noah

 

go grizz

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X that is an interesting argument...about noah with pau...and to think we had kyle lowry at the time...he was showing flashes of being a great player (and we did draft him by the way)...i remember sitting in fedex for the draft night and watching his face when we drafted mike...you could read it all over his face he knew his time in memphis was done...

 

mike has been good...but what IF we had kept kyle and drafter noah

 

go grizz

we probably don't do the Laker trade and Marc is a laker

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X that is an interesting argument...about noah with pau...and to think we had kyle lowry at the time...he was showing flashes of being a great player (and we did draft him by the way)...i remember sitting in fedex for the draft night and watching his face when we drafted mike...you could read it all over his face he knew his time in memphis was done...

 

mike has been good...but what IF we had kept kyle and drafter noah

 

go grizz

I wanted Noah as well, and it made sense, but I knew it wasn't going to happen. Iavajabroni had just gotten hired and said he was looking for the next Steve Nash to lead the Grizzlies forward.

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When a late 1st rounder or a 2nd rounder doesn't work out, I don't think it's fair to say that the front office sucks at drafting, because most teams realize that guys who are selected that late in the draft aren't guaranteed or even at times likely to work out anyway.

 

Of the higher picks, Thabeet is the only one that was a complete failure by the front office, and that was the owner's doing.

 

But absolutely no one would have predicted that Mayo would turn out like he has, especially after that incredible start to his career...that is NOT the front office's fault. Xavier Henry was simply the best player available in 2010 after the guy they wanted (Paul George) was taken before our pick. Henry didn't work out, but that is not the fault of the front office.

 

The Carroll, Vasquez and Arthur picks were actually good picks but the front office couldn't wait for them to develop. It happens. Guys like Sam Young, Josh Selby and Jamaal Franklin (2nd round picks with upside) rarely pan out in the NBA...but the Grizzlies certainly were not "dumb" for drafting them, IMO.

 

It's frustrating, but I definitely think it has much more to do with development than it does with actually drafting/selecting the players. This is evident when you look at guys like Wroten, Adams and Martin.

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IMO you can't call Conley a good pick when we passed up Noah.  A player that would have fitted perfectly with Pau at the time.  We likely never experience some of the other BS if we had selected Noah.

 

That's possible, but I remember that draft.  Being in 4th was first odd man out.  Slots 1-3 were considered locks; Oden/Durant would go 1&2, although nobody was sure what Portland would do right up to draft night.  Then Horford would go 3rd. It was starting at 4 that the draft could go any which way.

 

Yes, Noah was drafted after Conley, but between Conley and Noah was Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian, Corey Brewer, and Brandan Wright.  So there were a lot of whiffs that evening.  There was also no way Noah was going 4th, regardless of the team picking there. 

 

And maybe that's why Conley has turned out being our most successful draft pick.  Because in a lot of ways, he was our most obvious draft pick.  At least, that we followed.  that Thabeet draft should go down as one of the biggest miscalculations in the history of the draft.

 

Conley was the #1 PG in that draft, with a bullet. 

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Yes, Noah was drafted after Conley, but between Conley and Noah was Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian, Corey Brewer, and Brandan Wright. So there were a lot of whiffs that evening. There was also no way Noah was going 4th, regardless of the team picking there.

Exactly, and to add to this and my previous response...ALL teams have missed and whiffed in the draft.

 

Our fans just hang on to the missed picks so much, and I understand this because we are a small market team that depends primarily on the draft and trades.

 

Miami took Michael Beasley 2nd overall in 2008, but they rarely get criticized for it for whatever reason, and they passed on Love, Westbrook, Lopez etc.

 

Minnesota has whiffed in the draft (Johnny Flynn, Wes Johnson, Derrick Williams all in top 6 of draft) more in the last 8 years than any team not named the Kings, but everyone is praising them and their young core because they've done a solid job in the draft over the last 3 years.

 

Not many people talked about how Detroit took Dark over Carmelo because they won the championship the next year...but it was just as bad as the Thabeet pick, if not worse.

 

You can make a list for every team, so why act as if the Grizzlies are the only team that have screwed up draft picks? Like you said, there are whiffs in every draft.

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Exactly, and to add to this and my previous response...ALL teams have missed and whiffed in the draft.

 

Our fans just hang on to the missed picks so much, and I understand this because we are a small market team that depends primarily on the draft and trades.

 

Miami took Michael Beasley 2nd overall in 2008, but they rarely get criticized for it for whatever reason, and they passed on Love, Westbrook, Lopez etc.

 

Minnesota has whiffed in the draft (Johnny Flynn, Wes Johnson, Derrick Williams all in top 6 of draft) more in the last 8 years than any team not named the Kings, but everyone is praising them and their young core because they've done a solid job in the draft over the last 3 years.

 

Not many people talked about how Detroit took Dark over Carmelo because they won the championship the next year...but it was just as bad as the Thabeet pick, if not worse.

 

You can make a list for every team, so why act as if the Grizzlies are the only team that have screwed up draft picks? Like you said, there are whiffs in every draft.

 

 

Because this is a Grizz board with Grizz fans. I don't care about those other teams or what they missed on. i care about the Grizz. We had 4 straight lottery picks and only 1 is in the NBA. Thabeet and Henry were horrible lottery picks. Sure teams hit and miss all of the time, don't care about them, care about the Grizz and just evaluating all of the opportunities that we have squandered over the years. 

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Because this is a Grizz board with Grizz fans. I don't care about those other teams or what they missed on. i care about the Grizz. We had 4 straight lottery picks and only 1 is in the NBA. Thabeet and Henry were horrible lottery picks. Sure teams hit and miss all of the time, don't care about them, care about the Grizz and just evaluating all of the opportunities that we have squandered over the years.

Somewhat understandable. Just pointing out that missing on players is part of the draft in all professional sports. You can probably say that less than a 3rd of the league consistently does well in the draft each year.

 

Placing emphasis on the Grizzlies draft mistakes is only going to cause you more frustration and take away from the forward progression the team has managed despite not making all of the right moves.

 

I just look at it like what good is it going to do to keep discussing how much better Steph Curry and James Harden are than Hasheem Thabeet?

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I think we could've gotten a lot out of the guys we drafted if we had the right coaching staff in place.

Our draft picks couldnt flourish because we never gave them minutes.

 

I think even Thabeet could be a servicable backup if we used him right.

Well, I'm kidding that guy is a big project. lol

 

I'm really excited this year though.

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I think we could've gotten a lot out of the guys we drafted if we had the right coaching staff in place.

Our draft picks couldnt flourish because we never gave them minutes.

 

I think even Thabeet could be a servicable backup if we used him right.

Well, I'm kidding that guy is a big project. lol

 

I'm really excited this year though.

Completely agree

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