Grizzlies Draft D-DAY Primer

The waves wash onto the beaches of Normandy, carrying pieces of driftwood and debris to and fro on the packed-in sand.  A quiet before the storm.  Young enlistee, Chris Wallace, adjusts his combat helmet.  Checks his standard-issued M1 Garand for water in the cartridge and chambers a round.  He’s ready…

The 2018 NBA Draft is upon us and — like it or not — we have the 4th pick.  Will this be the year Grizz GM Chris Wallace destroys his legacy as a shoddy less than ideal drafter?  Or will he add another bum to his list?  Only time will tell, but while we wait, check out the scouting on the consensus Top-3 picks from the Backdoor Cut Crew here at The BarnBurner.

DeAndre Ayton:

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Photo: NBC Sports 

Ayton has shown glimpse of what could be a knock down jumper. His ability to stretch the floor to the three point line, his prowess around the rim, and his face-up jumper make him multi-tool offensive threat. Unfortunately, numbers-wise he didn’t take enough 3 point attempts (35) in college for us to fully assess his shooting ability from deep. He does show the ability to execute the “pick and pop” that many NBA teams utilize these days. If he gains confidence in that shot then he will really open up opportunities for whichever team is fortunate enough to draft him. At Arizona, he loved the face up mid range jumper, but will have to expand his range consistently to truly become a unicorn in the league.

We know that he has all the physical tools. The build, the athleticism, the shot. It’s almost comical how easy he made college basketball look. It reminds me of playing on an 8 foot goal with your siblings using one of those tiny street basketballs.

More: Is Deandre Ayton the Best Big in the Loaded Draft Class of 2018?

Marvin Bagley, III:

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Photo: ESPN

At best, Bagley is the new era 5. He grabs boards with ferocity and runs the floor like a graceful antelope.  He has all the tools to be an elite defender, and he’s not a scrub from three.  On the flip-side, if you’re playing him at center, Bagley’s unremarkable average of 1.1 blocks per game lags significantly behind the dominant big men in the class like Mo Bamba (4.1) or Jaren Jackson Jr. (3.3 in only 22 minutes per game).  As a result, there’s some understandable concern whether Bagley can play the ‘5’ in the NBA and provide that necessary rim protection.

More: Busting for Bagley: the Next Great NBA Big Fella?

Luka Doncic:

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Photo: Bright Side of the Sun

As a 19-year-old, Doncic is averaging 15.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 42 games in EuroLeague and Liga ACB, the two best leagues in Europe. Doncic is the primary ball-handler and floor general of these respective squads.  He’s born from the do-it-all point-guard-forward archetype taking the NBA by storm and popularized by players harkening back to the Big-O, Magic Johnson, and energized in the modern era by LeBron James, the Greek Freak, and Ben Simmons.

Doncic aces two-point shots at a 60% clip, and threes at 31.7%.  The man gets to the free-throw line five times per game and makes 81.5 percent of those.  Certainly these numbers are not too shabby but they don’t tell the whole tale — Doncic hangs these stats on other “grown men” in these two leagues, while *cue Brevin Knight voice* HE’S ONLY NINETEEN!!!  In other words, unlike other projected lottery pick one-and-done players who played in college against other “kids,” Doncic has been playing against NBA-esque physical competition since he was a mere lad of 16.  If the NBA were an MLB team, Liga ACB would be AAA and college ball would be AA.

More: Is Luka “Wonder Boy” Doncic the Grizzlies’ Savior in the Draft Lottery?

Draft D-Day:

Grizz fans will hold each other close tonight in the (perhaps illogical) hopes that one of these players falls to 4.  Regardless, we’ll be back in the Forum next year cheering on whoever puts on the jersey reflecting our beloved GNG.

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