Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Post-Draft Thoughts

Hakim Warrick. Lawrence Roberts. Those are your new Memphis Grizzlies this morning. I'll begin with the good: I am far more confident in the NBA readiness and talent of these two than I have been for any Grizzlies draft since 2001. Hakim Warrick represents tremendous value at the 19th pick--he is a guy I would not have been surprised to see go much higher than that. Athletically, he is a freak; the guy can go things with a basketball that very few humans can match. He is very long, not terribly big, and will vacillate between the 3/4 depending on matchups. He's proven himself at the highest collegiate level, having been Big East Player of the Year and Tournament MVP--plus, by all accounts, he is a good guy.

That said, it was hard not to notice last night that Jerry West seemed frazzled, nervous, and more than a little upset at his first press conference last night. He came to the press room as soon as the first round ended and started his press conference by saying, "I don't have anything to say, just ask me a question." Not his typical demeanor at all. He then went on to discuss in a very candid way his disappointment with not being able to make any moves--it seems to me he wanted to get Gerald Green and got so very close, but couldn't quite get it done. Boston screwed that up. I think he also wanted to make some kind of move in the first round--the Grizzlies have a surplus of swingmen, one of which they'd like to trade away--but it never materialized. Jerry knows that he needs to make a move or two; the fanbase is demanding some action.

Jerry West will be on Inside the NBA with me and Ron in just about 30 minutes; be sure to tune in. I'll finalize these thoughts after we speak with the logo.

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