The mystery in Memphis

Updated: June 21, 2009, 5:48 PM ET
By ESPN Insider

On Sunday, the intrigue surrounding what Memphis should do with the second pick in the draft continues to deepen, as a handful of names seem to be in play.

• In Memphis, the discussion is about the trade-off issue in drafting Hasheem Thabeet. The Commercial Appeal says that if Memphis takes him, "He'll be signed based solely on his ability to be a defensive dynamo -- someone who can block shots and rebound with authority." The problem is that might seem like a pretty limited skill set for such a lofty pick.

On the other side of the argument, a column in the same newspaper by Geoff Calkins says doing anything but picking Ricky Rubio would be a major gaffe. He writes, "If the Grizzlies don't use the second pick in the NBA Draft on the consensus second-best player in the draft, they had better hope he's a bust. Or they'll look ridiculous. It'll be like the Pau Gasol trade, only worse."

Worse than Gasol? Ouch.

Of course, then there's the word that Memphis also is considering former Sun Devil James Harden with the second pick. And we know it's true, because the Grizzlies had Harden in for another set of workouts, according to the Memphis Flyer. Harden had a bad workout, but according to reporter Chris Herrington, "Afterward, a team official pulled me aside and said 'Look, we both know that was one of the worst workouts we've seen, but we've seen this kid enough to know what he can do.'"

Doesn't sound at all as though the Harden rumors are worthy of being shot down.

To cap it all, the Boston Herald notes that Memphis GM Chris Wallace is building a strategy, but there doesn't seem to be a clear vision. It notes, "Wallace, meanwhile, is poring over a list of prospects that includes Spanish playmaker Ricky Rubio, UConn center Hasheem Thabeet, Arizona State guard James Harden, Memphis guard Tyreke Evans, USC forward DeMar DeRozan and Arizona power forward Jordan Hill. Wallace sounds like a diner who wants everything on the menu."

The only consensus we can say so far with this pick is that we don't think the Griz are considering trading their whole draft for the rights to Ricky Williams, but with this franchise, well …

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