Friday, June 28, 2013

The Day After: Post-Draft Notes and Observations

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Emptying the notebook after a day of draft post-mortem:

Jamaal Franklin
  • Jamaal Franklin
** My best understanding of the Darrell Arthur/Kosta Koufos trade was that it evolved out of the Grizzlies' attempts to get into the late first round. The Nuggets were known to be willing to move their pick at #27 (which ended up going to Utah) and in conversations about the pick they expressed interest in Darrell Arthur, whom the Grizzlies were willing to move to clarify their power forward rotation and address other needs. But while pursuing a potential deal involving Arthur and the Nuggets' pick, other players entered the discussion and when Koufos was made available the Grizzlies worked out that deal for the reasons I outlined last night.

** As far as other attempts to get into the first round, I reported last night on Twitter that the Grizzlies attempted to obtain the Timberwolves pick at #26 (which ended up going to Oklahoma City). There was some speculation that the Grizzlies pulled back from their pursuit because the player they were targeting (perhaps Reggie Bullock, who went #25 to the Clippers) was off the board. Not so. The Grizzlies got outbid on these deals, with competing teams offering both cash and a second-round draft pick. The Grizzlies apparently had a couple of players they were targeting in the late first round: swingmen Jamaal Franklin and Allen Crabbe, who eventually went at #31, the first pick in the second round. My impression is that the Grizzlies had Franklin rated higher but may have taken Crabbe if given the opportunity because he fit their needs better as a shooter.

** After Crabbe was off the board, the Grizzlies were hoping Franklin would continue to drop to them at #41 and were prepared to move out of #41 if Franklin was gone and they weren't enamored enough with other options.

** With the value pick of Franklin also creating some roster duplication, the Grizzlies didn't really want to carry two second-round rookies on their roster, so they were focused on a draft-and-stash candidate at #60. Even though the more established Bojan Dubljevic went one pick ahead of them at #59, my sense is that the Grizzlies still would have taken eventual pick Janis Timma anyway based on his youth, growth potential, and better chance of bringing him over if his development warrants it.

** Despite the desire of some local fans, I don't think the Grizzlies seriously considered taking former University of Memphis players D.J. Stephens or Adonis Thomas at #60. And though most of the focus has been on Stephens locally, I get the sense the Grizzlies were actually a little higher on Thomas as an NBA prospect.

** The Grizzlies may have a press conference next week to introduce Koufos and Franklin. Timma, currently in Las Vegas and set to play on the team's Summer League squad, could be there as well.

** In addition to Franklin, Timma, and second-year guard Tony Wroten Jr., it's been reported that Marquette's Vander Blue and Notre Dame's Jack Cooley will be on the squad. To that, I can add French swingman Jordan Aboudou. There's also a chance that veteran Donte Greene, whom the team signed to a non-guaranteed deal late last season, will play.

** The surprise of the day is news that Jerryd Bayless has chosen to invoke his $3.1 million player option for next season. I had been told earlier in the day that the team was expecting Bayless to do so but was waiting for official word. Later in the day, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that Bayless had, indeed, made that decision. Certainly this would not have happened without a coaching change given Bayless' rocky relationship with Lionel Hollins, but it's still a surprise.

** I'll do a detailed post on free-agency on Monday, but Bayless invoking his option narrows the needs and options and presumably simplifies the process. Unless the Grizzlies elect to at least open next season above the league's luxury tax line, which is something Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien hinted at when Chris Vernon and I interviewed him on the radio today. (Incidentally, you can listen to my Chris Vernon Show appearance from today and our Levien interview here.) Levien also said that his first order of business in free agency will be to close a new deal with Tony Allen.

** I still hope to write a belated post on the hire of Dave Joerger after I was out of town for his hiring announcement and press conference. For now, the best sense from the previous staff is that Bob Thornton and Lloyd Pierce are likely to be back and Henry Bibby and Mitchell Anderson may not. Don't be surprised if Joerger reaches back into his D League history in filling out his staff.

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