2014 NBA Draft Prospects Memphis Grizzlies Must Target

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIJune 15, 2014

CHICAGO, IL - May 15:  NBA draft prospect P.J. Hairston participates in drills during the 2014 Draft Combine on May 15, 2014 at Quest Multisport in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies have one shot to inject fresh talent into their roster through this draft. Holding the No. 22 pick in the draft, the Grizzlies sit in a good spot to grab complementary scoring, which they were missing while chasing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.

Any type of backcourt scoring would help the Grizzlies. However, taking someone who could stand in Tayshaun Prince's starting spot would be ideal. In a lineup that has Mike Conley as the only consistently imposing scorer, Prince's lack of production is untenable. 

Moreover, Chris Wallace and John Hollinger can spy a few draft prospects who can lift Memphis' scoring capacity while helping on defense.


K.J. McDaniels

K.J. McDaniels has a solid combination of offensive and defensive gifts.

He's a flashy scorer. Having scored 17.4 points per game on 45.9 percent from the field, McDaniels is developing his shot.

Additionally, McDaniels is athletic and jumps high. DraftExpress.com points out that he's a good jump-shooter, but he struggles from downtown, hitting 30.4 percent.

The former Clemson Tiger has a knack for getting to the line, averaging 5.1 free-throw attempts per game, and getting results there, shooting 84.2 percent.

McDaniels' physical tools portend a bright future on defense. McDaniels, who was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, has a 6'11.25" wingspan.

After he played a workout with the Grizzlies, Dave Joerger told Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (subscription required):

I liked what I saw. He played within himself really well. He fired out when he had the opportunity to. But a lot [of] times guys come in and they're so antsy to show you what they can do that they show you what they can't do. I didn't think that was the situation with him. He was very steady and under control.

Besides averaging 1.1 steals per game, he swatted 2.8 shots per game, which is no small wonder for someone standing 6'6".


P.J. Hairston

P.J. Hairston is a spectacular scorer. He averaged 21.8 points per game for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.

He's a willing three-point shooter, having taken a little more than half of his attempts from behind the line for the Legends. Besides volume, he shows promise, having shot 35.8 percent last season and 39.6 percent as a sophomore for North Carolina.

DraftExpress commended his jump shot, shooting mechanics and range, saying, "He has a pure and beautiful stroke, with great balance and follow through, and consistent elevation which he uses effectively to create separation and get his shot off quickly in a multitude of ways."

Also, Hairston can compete on defense. His 6'9" wingspan gives him the ability to grab numerous steals.

Any team looking at Hairston, who received improper benefits from a promoter who was a convicted felon and was connected with gun and drug possession charges, will ponder the remaining significance of his dismissal from UNC. 

Hairston told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe he wants teams to know "that I kind of get past things and I don't reflect on mistakes. I made some mistakes, but at the same time I look at it as the past and when I got to Texas, that was a new chapter in my life."


Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams splashes terrific figures as a scorer. He averaged 17.4 points per game.

As quoted by ProBasketballTalk, Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com described the UCLA product as one who "knows how to find holes in the defense and score."

He'll be a helpful floor spacer. Memphis, which only has a couple of spacers, would appreciate this trait. SheridanHoops.com's Oren Levi said Adams "will use his heady style to get with the offensive scheme of his team, cutting, coming off of screens and spotting up."

He can make a difference from beyond the arc, as he hit 35.6 percent on 4.1 attempts per game.

Defensively, Adams has yet to put it all together. He snatches steals, collecting 2.6 per game, which would be nice for a Grizz squad that dropped from fourth to 14th in the category. While the 6'5" guard has a 6'10" wingspan and great instincts, he gambles and lacks quickness.

Someone who gambles frequently is fine, but if his athleticism isn't desirable, he might not work in the starting lineup without assurance that a teammate will help when he misses.

Adams has pleased observers by improving his figure. As Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com tweeted, Adams has dropped 22 pounds.



The Grizzlies have a chance of inserting a new man in the 3 spot. McDaniels doesn't have perfect size, but his length and skills make him worthy of the starting lineup. Hairston may deserve a starting job due to his pure scoring ability, even if it means running three guards on the court.

Generally, Memphis should see several scorers when it makes its pick. In addition to the aforementioned three, it could look at T.J. Warren, Kyle Anderson and Cleanthony Early. Nevertheless, Hairston and McDaniels possess the best blends of offense and defense of those in the Grizzlies' reach.