Roughly 24 hours after the initial report on the Indianapolis drug case first emerged, I'm just now getting a chance to dig into the story. Let's look at what we now know about the case — I'm focusing on the Indianapolis case here, which seems much more serious — and where things could go.
What We (Seem To) Know
Based on a probable cause affidavit submitted by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective Ryan Graber, what seems to have happened is this:
A confidential informant gave the IMPD a tip about drug-related activity connected to Randolph and his suburban Indianapolis home, with specific information about a Randolph associate named Arthur Boyd.
After watching the residence and detecting activity consistent with a drug-dealing operation, IMPD officers pulled over Boyd, driving a 2008 Cadillac Escalade. The car ended up being registered to Randolph and after a subsequent search (the legal details of which could end up being an issue), a cooler was found containing more than 90 grams of marijuana separated into bags. There were also hidden compartments in the car, one of which included a round of ammunition. There was also paperwork connected to a self-storage unit also registered to Randolph. An investigation of the storage unit led to a K-9 unit detecting "positive indications for the presence of controlled substances" and the impounding of three custom Chevrolet Impalas, which apparently did not have door handles and were equipped with electronic keyless entry. The cars apparently had not been searched at the time the affidavit was written. Boyd was arrested for "dealing and possession of marijuana."
In the affidavit, Graber refers to Randolph as "the financier for known drug dealers in Indianapolis," but beyond information given by the referenced confidential informant, there doesn't seem to be enough evidence in the affidavit to support quite that strong of a claim.
With Tuesday's draft lottery in the books, Grizzlies fans can officially start focusing on the team's three picks: #12, #25, and #28. Chances are pretty good one of these later picks will get moved, if even just for cash, on draft night. But for now we have to assume the team could be drafting at all three spots.
Off the board: At the moment there seem to be eight players fairly certain to taken before the Grizzlies make their first selection at #12, so we can take these names off the team's draft list (barring an unforeseen trade up):
Longshots: Beyond merely the prospects not good enough to be considered in the first round, there are a couple of types of players I think the Grizzlies are unlikely to select. One of these types is wing players who aren't good three-point shooters. Currently the Grizzlies have three back-up wings (Sam Young, DeMarre Carroll, Ronnie Brewer), all of whom are poor outside shooters. I think it's unlikely the team would draft another player like this, taking some prospects (Stanley Robinson, Quincy Pondexter) off the board. The other category I think you can scratch is a project center. The Grizzlies took one of those with the second overall pick last year in Hasheem Thabeet, and with Thabeet and Marc Gasol commanding all the center minutes, there doesn't seem to be room for a developmental center (Daniel Orton, Solomon Alabi) on the roster.
The Grizzlies begin the process of remaking their roster tonight. But before we get to that, let's take stock of the roster as it enters the summer.
With tonight's NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA off-season begins, and with it my lengthy new-baby-and-non-hoops-work-induced blogging hiatus.
But before I can start wading into the various issues of this off-season, a couple of housecleaning posts are in order. First, a reckoning with my October predictions for this now-completed season:
1) The Grizzlies will be one of the most improved teams in the NBA — and still miss the playoffs. The Grizzlies offense will make a big leap from terrible to average. The defense will maintain its mediocrity. The result? Respectabilty! Predicted record: 36-46.
Good start. The Grizzlies, in winning 16 more games, were the league's second most improved team (behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, who made a dramatic 27-game improvement), but did indeed miss the playoffs. The team's offensive efficiency jumped from 28th to 17th. The defense fell off slightly, from 20th to 23rd. As for the record, I undershot by four games.