VOL. 129 | NO. 123 | Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Grizzlies Hope Upheaval Leads to Draft Unity
CLAY BAILEY | Associated Press
MEMPHIS (AP) – The Memphis Grizzlies hope the recent tumultuous turnover in their front office translates into a solid, unified draft Thursday night.
For now, the team only has to concentrate on one pick – the 22nd overall – and the opportunity to add selections.
"Every team is in a different position," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "Are they trying to draft? Are they trying to make moves? .There will be a lot of speculation, I imagine, from now until draft day."
Joerger was part of all the turmoil and uncertainty when he interviewed twice with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Joerger talked with owner Robert Pera before signing an extension staying in Memphis.
After losing a seven-game series to Oklahoma City in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Grizzlies had a stunning shake-up May 19 with Pera ousting chief executive officer Jason Levien and player personnel director Stu Lash.
Chris Wallace took charge temporarily, returning to an active role as general manager with John Hollinger staying as vice president of basketball operations.
Exactly who will make the final decision Thursday night is unclear, but the Grizzlies say Joerger, Wallace, Hollinger and Pera will be working together.
"It's going to be collaborative," Wallace said.
The Grizzlies have other issues looming this offseason, most notably an extension for power forward Zach Randolph. Randolph has a player option at $16.5 million for next season, and the Grizzlies would like to restructure.
Mike Miller is an unrestricted free agent. The Grizzlies seem interested in having him back after a season where he was the only Memphis player to appear in all 82 regular-season games. Miller shot 46 percent from 3-point range.
Joerger was at the Grizzlies' pre-draft workouts, and team officials are looking for a versatile small forward or a stable backup point guard. Nick Calathes, a reserve point guard for the Grizzlies this past season, is still due to sit out 13 games of a suspension that kept him out of the playoffs.
The Grizzlies also need a long-range shooter or a scorer to help a team that averaged 96 points a game, near the bottom of the NBA.
"If you could get a backup point guard that could shoot and was a great athlete that down the road would be the starting point guard, that would be wonderful," Wallace said with a laugh. "But that's probably not going to happen."
The Grizzlies have looked at 6-foot-7 forwards Cleanthony Early from Wichita State and Glenn Robinson III of Michigan, Louisville guard Russ Smith and Clemson's K.J. McDaniel, the UCLA duo of Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams of UCLA and Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier.
They also worked out Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, a possibility to land in his hometown.
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