Monday, June 21, 2010

The Grizzlies Workouts (part 2)

The Grizzlies have had more workouts over the course of the last week and the only one that I missed through the whole process was the one that Larry Sanders from VCU was supposed to be at.  He cancelled, and so did I.  Here are some more thoughts on the players I have seen...

Jeremy Lin - from Harvard.  Smart (haha).  Not an option for the Grizz but surprised me with 2 dunks in the workout.  Probably Europe.

Sheron Collins- poor Sheron.  Earlier in the draft process I was talking to a player about Collins and asked him what he thought about him - here is the quote- "I've been knowin Sheron for a long time.  Sheron... Sheron got a weight problem."  The player was unfortunately a prophet.  I heard he got injured early in the process and ballooned, but it was still surprising to see in person.  He probably weighed 240 at the workout.  I don't know if he will get drafted.

Jeremy Wise- former standout for Southern Miss that played in the D League last year.  Seems to be good enough to be a really nice player in the D League, but I would be surprised if he is a rotation player in the NBA.

Jordan Crawford- I was a big fan of Crawford going into this workout and came out not as big a fan.  I wanted him to be great.  I wanted him to standout amongst the crowd.  I wanted him to be the clear best player on the court.  He was not.  This is not to say I still don't like him, because I do.  He is a scorer and he did not shoot well, which makes for a tough workout.  His first step and ability to get off the deck are really good.  Something that bothered me is that he always looked tired (part of that is bad posture).  It seemed like he was leaning over and grabbing his hips and shorts quite a bit.  If Crawford turned out to be a really good player that could score in bunches I would not be surprised, but he did not in the workout.  I wanted this kid to be the diamond in the rough, and I guess it is possible, but I would be scared to say that after seeing the workout.

Greivis Vasquez- I had made fun of Grizzlies front office people that would bring up liking Vasquez to me, but after seeing the kid in person, I won't anymore.  Vazquez can play.  He has one great trait - his court vision is elite and he constantly gets guys better shots.  He is not a good athlete, but he might be able to get by because he has some tricky moves that create space and is so good a getting the ball to guys and creating points for his team.  He can knock down shots if you back off of him.  I like him much more after seeing him in person.  Vasquez will get assists when he is in a game, there is just no way he will not be able to do that.  He has that one identifiable great trait.  In addition to that, he plays with a confidence and swagger that I like in guys.  I liked this kid.  Surprise workout for me.

Patrick Patterson- no player has been endorsed on the show like Patterson.  David Thorpe of ESPN.COM came on the show and said that Patterson would be perfect for the Grizzlies and is the player they should select if he is available.  Thorpe compared him to Udonis Haslem- which was interesting to me because people have this idea that they want a star with the 12th pick, but chances of that are slim at best.  So what about the guy that you know is going to be solid?  You know he is not gonna be a superstar, but you also know there is no way he will not be able to contribute and be in your rotation.  These are the things that intrigue me about Patterson.  Once upon a time I endorsed taking Joakim Noah with the 4th pick instead of Mike Conley, and I used the same reasoning.  I knew what Noah was gonna be.  There are times that you can play it safe and make the better pick, and there are times where you passed on a star because you played it safe.  In a draft that is incredibly difficult to predict who will end up being the steals, the safe route may be the best.  Patterson is a really good player.  He can really shoot in pick and pop situations, he can rebound, and he is willing to defend.  I liked Patterson.

Devin Ebanks- looks quite a bit like Ariza when you see him.  Ebanks has the requisite athleticism to be a fantastic player, but it seems to be what is going on between his ears that has him projected at the bottom of the first round.  He is really long, looks to be in good shape, can shoot pretty well.  Hard to judge on college performance because he played on one of the slowest teams in the country.  Ebanks was a great high school player and I get the sense that he could really be helped by the more open, up-and-down game in the NBA.  If he matures a little more mentally and physically, I could see him being really good.  He has the size, length, and athleticism.  I just don't know if he has the fire and desire.  Hard to bank on a guy that you are not sure is all there upstairs, but might be worth the risk.

Darrington Hobson- saw his name in the first round in some mocks at the beginning of the process.  I seriously didn't know he was one of the players at the workout until about halfway through.  I thought he was one of the fill-ins to even out the workout.  It would be unfair to peg the guy one way or another because I really was not paying much attention to him.  It will be my luck the guy turns out to be awesome (haha).  I will just plead ignorance.  I figure if he did anything that stood out in the least I would have noticed him before the workout was halfway done.

Terrico White- Memphis kid, played at Ole Miss.  Had about 20 family members at the workout to see him.  This was a tough one because he is 6'5" and I really wish Willie Warren would have been there (he was supposed to be) because it would have put another guard on the court at his workout.  At his height, he was the smallest guy on the court by a good margin.  He falls into the combo-guard discussion (does it not seem that is what everybody is this year?) but I am not sure you are gonna see him with the ball much.  He is an undersized scorer and is not totally unlike Lester Hudson, who was on the Grizzlies last year.  Again, he was playing with much bigger guys in these drills so it was tough to evaluate for me, but I think he may drop to the second round.  He was just ok.