The Grizzlies draft workouts have been going on at FedEx Forum. I have been to all of the workouts so far. Here is a rundown of every player I have seen so far (this is through Sun., rest up later this week)...
Jerome Randle - I liked this guy. He is small, but he can get his own shot, get in the lane, and is an elite level shooter. I have felt like guys being small has been blown out of proportion in recent years. Much like in football with wide receivers (where you used to want them to be big and strong), guards like this kid that you cannot put your hands on have a real advantage. It did not used to be that way, but it is now.
Armon Johnson- has gotten some love over the course of the last few weeks. I didn't see it. Big and strong but his lack of a shot really hurts him. Not crazy quick, and is not gonna stretch a defense.
Ish Smith- crazy fast, pretty good handles. Cannot shoot to save his life. If this kid could shoot he would be dangerous. It is like a Greek tragedy. Even his FT numbers from college are really poor.
Luke Harangody- not nearly as big as I thought he was. Has to be able to hit NBA 3's and not convinced he can do that. Hard worker, but not athletic or long enough for the position he would play.
Ryan Richards- kid from England that made a big splash in Chicago. He is a project who will be making a enormous leap in level of competition. Possible he could become good, but he is years from that.
Raymar Morgan- impressed me. You can tell this guy has been very well coached. Tough and plays smart. Would not be surprised if he gets picked in second round and makes a team.
Lazar Hayward- not unlike Morgan. Knows what he is doing on the court. He should probably get picked in the second rd. and make a roster.
Dominque Jones- really good athlete that should be able to get his own shot. Reminded me of Jack McClinton from Miami , who I saw last year. McClinton got drafted by Spurs and I don't think he was on a roster last year. I could see this kid being a bench scorer.
Xavier Henry- He falls into my "dog theory". There are guys in the league that make up for talent they lack by having the "dog" in them (Battier, Lowry, Glen Davis), and then there are guys that are have supreme talent and that makes up for not having the "dog" in them (Pau, Rudy, Joe Johnson). The guys that have the "dog" and the talent are typically your bonafide superstars. The guys that don't have either the supreme talent or the "dog"? They are just guys. Henry is just a guy. He is a jump shooter. He is a good shooter, but he is not the kind of guy you would want to go to war with. I sense that he developed much earlier than his peers and that gave him a great advantage. I don't see it with him. If you think he is gonna be a star in the league, you are wrong. I have been to workouts for 9 years, I know what the stars look like. He is by no means a diamond in the rough.
James Anderson- was hurt so I am not gonna hold that against him. He played through it during the workout. Always has struck me as a poor-mans James Harden, still does.
Stanley Robinson- certainly looks the part. He is big, athletic, long, and fast. Looks tremendous running up and down the court. The problem is when you involve a basketball. He will play in the NBA as an energy guy that will probably grab some rebounds and create some havoc, but that is about it.
Quincy Pondexter- I really liked Pondexter. The kind of guy you want to go to war with, and a much better shooter than I thought he was. Long, athletic, strong. I liked this guy and I think he will be better than a bunch of guys drafted ahead of him. He should have a good career.
Lance Stephenson- Born Ready! Lance is really interesting because he did not have a great year at Cincy, but was an elite level high school player. He is big, really big. He has a bunch of moves that get him to the rim but his jumper is just decent and his shot selection is not great. That being said, he has a big upside but could be risky. I don't know if Stephenson will ever be in a starting 5 of a really good team and playing within a team concept, but I could see him as a really nice piece to come off the bench and get buckets (like the role JR Smith plays). The kid is strong as a bull and tough as nails. I liked him in the workout. Ceiling is much higher than other guys, but chance of failure might be too. Boom or bust.
Luke Babbitt- could do nothing against Pondexter. He is being helped quite a bit amongst fans because of youtube videos and good college numbers. After seeing him up-close I am surprised that people are so high on him. He measured well, but plays slower than those measurements. He can shoot pretty well, but he is absolutely not a diamond in the rough. He is just a guy. Not impressed.
Jeremy Evans- played at Western Kentucky and had never heard of him before I saw him. He is long, athletic, and not afraid of contact. I would invite this kid to play on the Summer League team for sure. He held his own against guys that will get drafted in the first round.
Andy Rautins- he is a good shooter. Poor guy had to play against Stephenson and it was man vs. boy. He will play in Europe.
Craig Brackins- Brackins can shoot it. Really good range. Pick-and-pop 4 man. Not really rugged enough to get in the mix with the 4's in the league, but he is skilled for his height and can stretch the floor out fairly far. He was pretty good. NBA role player.