Grading the Grizzlies Draft Night

Grading the Grizzlies Draft Night

Time to play Monday Morning Quarterback.
MEMPHIS, TN ( - With no first round selection in this year’s NBA draft, and with a brand new coach, how did the Grizzlies to on draft night? asked some of the so-called experts, and some who aren’t.

By the time you get down to the 41st pick in the draft, the Grizzlies first selection, you just go for the best player available.

In this case, that was Jamaal Franklin of San Diego State, who many had ranked in the top 25 of all players.

The day after the draft Grizzlies management felt the basketball gods were smiling down on them, but they were not finished, trading with Denver for seven footer Kosta Koufos.

“I think they got a talented rookie,” said Eric Hasseltine, “better than where he was selected; and a legitimate backup center at a very good price, for Marc Gasol.”

Hasseltine is the radio play-by-play voice of the Grizzlies and a host at ESPN Radio 92.9.

That’s one way of looking at the Grizzlies 2013 draft, but not everybody is sold on Franklin.

“I don’t think Jamaal Franklin fills a need, per se.” said Gary Parrish, also a host at ESPN Radio 92.9.

Franklin himself is thrilled to be coming to Memphis.

“I just want to take my grind and my work ethic and go to the next level,” Franklin said.

Funny he should mention his “grind.”

"We’re going to tell Tony Allen we just drafted his younger brother,” said Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien, “we got the grindson playing for us; father and son together—it should be a lethal combination.”

Certainly Franklin’s college coach, Steve Fisher of San Diego State, thinks so.

“I know he’ll be someone the fans love to see with his competitive nature,” said Fisher.

But, the Grizzlies need shooters.

“His stats don’t show he can shoot the ball,” said Fisher, “but he can shoot the ball. He’s a winner.”

Grizzlies fans certainly hope so.

“Hopefully he can develop,” Grizz fan Sadler Mclendon told, “It’s going to be interesting to see with the new coaching situation.”

One thing everybody agrees on is the acquisition of seven footer Kosta Koufos from Denver, even Koufos.

“Koufos, how do you feel about this Memphis team” asked a teammate in March, prior to a Grizzlies-Nuggets matchup.

“They are tough,” replied Koufos, “they have lots of bigs.”

Now Koufos, who burned the Grizz for 18 points and 16 rebounds that night, is a Memphis big man.

“I love that.” Parrish told

So, overall—how did the Grizzlies do on draft night?

“I think everybody is impressed,” said Hasseltine, “especially with the news that Jerryd Bayless is opting back in.”

The news of Bayless was unexpected, but helpful.

Will Franklin become "the grindson"? Only time will tell, but everybody feels Koufos is a quality addition at the right price.
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