The Memphis Grizzlies took a big step forward last year, they got almost all the way to .500. One of the best turnarounds in the league. But if they want to take another step — maybe into the playoffs? — they are going to need some more key contributors.
That does not mean project rookies. Which is all they would get with picks No. 12, No. 25 and No. 28 in the upcoming NBA draft. So the team may try to package those picks in a trade, according to what owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal.
“We’ll be trying to trade from now through the draft,” Heisley said. “If we can get an impact player, we might trade all three of (the picks). If we can’t do that, then we hope to use those three picks to get an impact player.”
Stockpiling multiple picks rather than having one really good one is a fantastic strategy in the NFL, with its massive numbers game. In the NBA, where the pure talent of one player can carry a team a long way (see: James, LeBron) impact players matter a lot more.
Which is to say Heisley is on the right track. Not that getting an impact player is going to be all that easy, but he may be able to get someone of quality from a team looking to cut costs (two or three rookie contracts at once can help with that).
They are not alone, the Rockets are looking to move up as well. There may be more trading than normal leading up to this draft.
Hassan Whiteside defends himself when questions about his maturity early in his career with the Kings arise:
“That was a long time ago,” Whiteside said. “If they want to think about things that happened four, five years ago, that’s up to them.
“I don’t think it’s something that should follow me, but I really don’t know right now. That was years ago. Things didn’t work out in Sacramento. I worked my way to get back here. I could’ve easily gave up and went back home and just chilled. But I put in the work, and I feel like I’m a hard worker or I wouldn’t be here.”
But then he does something like this.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.