Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Draft Notes: Links Roundup

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM

I'm not going to bother wading through every Griz-connected report or opinion piece over the past couple of days, but will throw out a couple of the better ones before forging ahead. But first, a couple of other notes:

I made a mistake during a Chris Vernon Show appearance earlier this week, letting slip a comment concerning Lionel Hollins' take on Ricky Rubio that shouldn't have been aired. The statement was accurate but possibly misinterpreted and not fit for public airing regardless. Sometimes you get rambling on the radio and find yourself saying things you wouldn't feel comfortable putting in print, and this was one of those times. I do think that there are no strong proponents for taking and keeping Rubio among the team's top brass. That certainly includes Hollins, but is not at all exclusive to him.

Jefferson Deal: The big NBA news of the day, at least until Minnesota acquired a second Top Ten pick, was the Spurs picking up Richard Jefferson from the Bucks for a pu-pu platter of expiring and partially guaranteed contracts. This relates to the Grizzlies for obvious reasons: It's yet another trade that puts the Pau Gasol deal into context.

I'm not saying that Richard Jefferson is as significant a player as Gasol. He isn't. But what the Bucks got in return isn't as significant as what the Grizzlies got. The Bucks got partial cap room/savings now, with most of it delayed a year. No picks. No young players with upside. (Though they did flip the Spurs' Fabricio Oberto to the Pistons for Amir Johnson, who at least theoretically could still amount to something.) The Gasol deal was poor return, but not any worse than the Jefferson deal. And, similarly, a small-market, losing team has shipped a high-level player in his prime to a glamour team that thinks he's the final piece to a title. Where's the outrage? A Vernon Show caller beat me to it earlier today, but will Spurs coach Gregg Popovich call for this trade to be investigated or vetoed the way he did the Pau deal? Welcome to the post-luxury-tax NBA.

Links: CNN-SI's Scott Howard-Cooper has some Grizzlies stuff in his latest draft notes, including this:

The growing league-wide sentiment is that the Grizzlies won't select Rubio, but by their own choice rather than being scared off.

Which is exactly the sense I get as well.

Also at CNN-SI, Ian Thomsen has the Grizzlies and Hasheem Thabeet as the figures most likely to shape the draft.

Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski had plenty of Griz material a few days ago, starting with a report on tension between Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace regarding Pau Gasol's playoff performance, then ends with this:

Minnesota’s offer of a package that includes Kevin Love and a first-round pick intrigues Wallace too, sources say.

Wallace is enamored with University of Memphis freshman Tyreke Evans but thinks he could move down and still draft him. Nothing happens in this draft until the Grizzlies make a decision; then the dominos will start to fall.

Interesting. I've gotten the sense that the Love proposal is — or at least was — real. I'm guessing "Love and a first-round pick" means #28 or, at best, #18.

Chad Ford's current mock has the Grizzlies coming home with Hasheem Thabeet, Omri Casspi, and Jon Brockman.

A player-led mock in ESPN the Magazine has Rudy Gay picking for the Grizzlies and going Big (East) with Hasheem Thabeet and Dajuan Summers

The best part, though, is OKC's Russell Westbrook:

But don't get Westbrook started on sliding to the 2 so Oklahoma City can tap Spanish star Ricky Rubio. Says he: "You trippin'."


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