Memphis Grizzlies: Grading The 2014 NBA Draft Class
With the No. 22 overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, the Grizzlies selected UCLA shooting guard Jordan Adams. Adams is a talented player, but with players as explosive as Rodney Hood still available the decision to select him at No. 22 was somewhat baffling. Memphis needed a plug-and-play shooter to throw into the line-up, but Adams could take a few years to develop. Reports stated that Memphis’s management liked him and were interested, but because of how early he was selected and the desperation at which they need an outside shooter, I have no choice but to give Memphis a D for the Adams pick.
However, after the somewhat disappointing choice to draft Adams, Memphis made up for it by trading with the Utah Jazz for the rights to former Tennessee Volunteers star and Memphis-born power forward Jarnell Stokes. Stokes dominated his opponents all season long, finishing the season by averaging a double-double. His strength is rivaled by very few, and he has the soft jump shooting touch that Memphis covets in their big-men.
Stokes could become the immediate back up to Zach Randolph and become a full-time starter in a few years. Overall, I give the Stokes trade an A+. Not just because he’s a hometown player and an elite rebounder, but because he has the potential to be one of the best players in this draft class.
Although many are up in arms over the somewhat strange decision to draft Adams when better plug-and-play options were available, the addition of Stokes to the Grizzlies was one of the most intelligent moves of the draft.
Overall, I give their 2014 NBA Draft class a grade of B.