Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Four Paths: Drafting (and Keeping) Someone Other Than Ricky Rubio

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM

thabeet.jpg
Of the four potential paths the Grizzlies could take with the #2 pick, standing pat and taking anyone other than Ricky Rubio (or Blake Griffin on the off chance the Clippers took Rubio #1) seems like the least likely scenario.

If that were to happen, the pick would likely be UCONN shotblocker Hasheem Thabeet, whom both Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com and Chad Ford of ESPN.com are talking up in connection with the Grizzlies.

If the Grizzlies are convinced — and I am not — that Thabeet is going to be a game-changing defensive force at the NBA level, then you could justify that pick. But, with doubts about Thabeet and the presence of a quality young starting center in Marc Gasol, I think taking Thabeet at # 2 is just too big of a gamble to make. (One other consideration, I suppose, is the suggestion that Darko Milicic could try to opt out of the last year of his deal and head back to Europe next season. One Grizzlies employee I spoke to last night said he thought that was likely, though I'm not so sure myself.)

Beyond Thabeet, there are plenty of other players in this draft someone could reasonably think has as much star potential as Rubio — Brandon Jennings, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, DeMar Derozan, Stephen Curry. But I can't imagine taking any of these players second overall. If you really want one of those players, you trade down, which is something I'll look at in the next post.

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