Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Draft Express Comes Off Thabeet Pick

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 9:11 AM

After first echoing Chad Ford's report about the Grizzlies taking Hasheem Thabeet at #2, Draft Express is now coming off that report:

•Memphis Not a Lock to Take Thabeet?

Most NBA teams we speak to these days are assuming that the Memphis Grizzlies have been decisively spooked by Ricky Rubio’s threats to pull a Fran Vasquez, and have instead zeroed in on Hasheem Thabeet as their likely selection with the #2 pick.

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins hasn’t necessarily given up on the idea of drafting a point guard, though, and he’s telling NBA-types that he may be interested in picking one with legit size that he can play alongside either Mike Conley or O.J. Mayo depending on the situation on the floor. Tyreke Evans is one that has come up—he comes with the added benefit of having played in Memphis, which might help the team somewhat in the ticket sales department. Jrue Holiday is another name that is beginning to get some mention here.

The assumption is that Memphis will trade down a few spots, possibly to 4th, where Sacramento can offer either Jason Thompson or Spencer Hawes as added compensation. That would surely please Rubio’s camp, as the difference between the 2nd and 4th picks is somewhere around four million dollars over the course of his rookie deal, which would make things infinitely easier as far as his buyout is concerned, and also satisfy his and his family’s initial expectations of being a top-3 pick.

There's still a lot of time left in the process and I don't think the options will really start narrowing until closer to draft day, but this is closer to my own sense of the situation. If the team can't move up to one and for whatever reason decides that keeping Rubio isn't the way to go, then I do think trading down is very likely, especially if the team could get a Thabeet or (perhaps more likely) Evans and also a quality young piece like Thompson.

Draft Express also had this little Griz-connected tidbit:

•Marc Iavaroni appears to be a lock to secure the lead assistant’s role in Toronto, with the only holdup now being his contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. It seems like Iavaroni and Toronto may be in a similar situation to that of Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic a few years back, when the Miami Heat demanded compensation in the form of a second round pick in exchange for releasing him from the last year of his contract. This time, though, the Grizzlies are reportedly demanding cash, somewhere in the range of a few hundred thousand dollars.

click to enlarge hasheem-thabeet-1.jpg

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