With the draft fast approaching, I would like to share my thoughts about the talent level of this year's class. We all know that the ultimate prize in this year's draft is Blake Griffin.
After that, the talent level seems to fall off considerably. The next two projected selections are Spain's Ricky Rubio and Uconn's Hasheem Thabeet. While both possess tremendous upside, neither of them deserve the acclaim they receive. Many draft boards have Thabeet going No. two to Memphis and Rubio No. three to Oklahoma City. Neither of these picks make much sense.
When you draft a player in the top three selections, you want instant production. If Memphis takes Thabeet, he will most likely come off the bench unless Hollins plans on having two seven-foot centers in the starting lineup.
A better fit for Thabeet would be the Thunder because there he could be inserted into the starting lineup and have an immediate impact playing alongside their big three of Durant, Westbrook, and Green. The Thunder would love Memphis to select Rubio because Center is a great need of theirs where Pg is not (Westbrook).
In Memphis' case, I don't find either of these players to be a great fit. They have two very young talented players at these positions already and drafting Rubio or Thabeet would not make a whole lot of sense unless they plan on moving Gasol or Conley in the near future.
The next two to go are Arizona State's James Harden followed by Arizona's Jordan Hill. Just like Rubio and Thabeet, these two players have the potential to have great careers in the NBA. With that said, I still have major concerns regarding these two prospects. James Harden showed that he has some flaws as he played terribly in the NCAA Tournament and Jordan Hill still has a great deal of developing to do.
If I was in the front office of Memphis, I would be puzzled because Rubio and Thabeet do not look too enticing. One solution I have come up with for the Grizzlies would be to select Jordan Hill. This may seem far fetched but this would make sense because other than PF, Memphis has a good young nucleus of starters. This move would allow the Thunder to take Thabeet and Sacramento to select Rubio.
Another possibility is that a team in the top four or five moves down to attain a veteran or more picks as this draft actually does have some depth. Look for teams such as the Grizzlies, Thunder, and Timberwolves to move around in the draft, as they each have multiple first rounders, and get some veterans in return.