Memphis Grizzlies: What rookies will make the team?

When players are drafted onto an NBA team, many people think their journey to the big leagues is complete. However, this isn’t always the case, as some players that get drafted don’t immediately make their team, but rather are put to the test and fight for a roster spot, usually during the summer league. However, oftentimes, each franchise already has an idea on who they will call up to the team before the league even begins based on their needs.

This article will  judge each of the Memphis Grizzlies’ prospects on their odds of making it onto the team. Things like their specific talents will be taken into account, but the major thing that will be looked at is what kind of roles still need to be filled on the team.

Overall, the Grizzlies’ main weaknesses are on offense, as the team lacks players that can make midrange and three-point shots. They also need a better rebounder and defender at the power forward or center position to back up Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. The rookies below will be judged on their potential to fix these issues next season that the Grizzlies have.

Undrafted Free Agents

I decided it was best to group all of the undrafted free agents that were signed to play for the Grizzlies during the Summer League into one group. The reason for this is because they all probably won’t make the team, or at the very least, they won’t make the team before the start of this season.

The big reason for this is because all but one of them are guards, and the team already has seven guards signed to the team, meaning they probably have no need nor desire for more. There is a chance that the only forward that is playing for the Grizzlies in the summer league, Okaro White from Florida State, will make the team, but only because the team has a bigger need for forwards than they do for guards. Otherwise, it is almost certain that none of these players will be playing for the Grizzlies day one, not because the players aren’t talented enough (although undrafted free agents rarely do make the team day one), but rather because the team currently has no need for their talent.

Chance to make the team: 10%

Jordan Adams

UCLA Basketball

Jordan Adams

Despite the fact that Adams is a player who, assuming he transitions well into the NBA, can do what the Grizzlies needed out of their first round pick this year, he was somewhat of a surprising pick for the Grizzlies, who already had Tony Allen and Courtney Lee filling the shooting guard positions on the team.

With that said, the team was looking for someone who is a great scorer, as well as someone who can make a three-point shot consistently, and Adams has the potential to be able to do both of these things for the Grizzlies well. Adams entered the draft this year with the highest field goal percentage out of all shooting guards at 48.5%. He also shot a respectable 35.6% from beyond the arc.

However, Adams is not very athletic for a basketball player, and his height of 6-foot-5 is only average at best for a shooting guard. But despite the problems that Adams has with athleticism, it is very, very unlikely that the team’s first round pick doesn’t make the team. Despite being talented enough to probably make it as is, it is uncommon for a first round pick to not be on the team’s opening day roster, and even if Adams doesn’t bring everything that the Grizzlies needed from their draft pick, his offensive presence will be more than welcome on the Grizzlies’ bench.

The only reason the odds aren’t better for him to join the Grizzlies is because the team just recently signed Carter and Beno Udrih, making them pretty tight with spots for guards, but the team will probably be able to fit one more spot for Adams.

Chance to make the team: 80%

Memphis Grizzlies: grading the 2014 draft

Jarnell Stokes

Tennessee Men's Basketball

Jarnell Stokes

Usually, 2nd round picks have a tougher time making a team’s opening day roster.  Oftentimes touted as project players, these prospects sometimes spend time in the Developmental League before they are brought up to play for a team. However, with this year’s draft being as deep as it was, there will likely be fewer players finding themselves in this situation.

Case in point: Jarnell Stokes, who may have had first round talent but dropped to the second round due to a combination of a small height for a power forward at only 6-foot-8 and a stacked first round in this year’s draft.

Stokes has one redeeming quality that almost guarantees him a spot on the Grizzlies’ roster next year: he’s an outstanding rebounder. Arguably the best person at grabbing boards in this year’s draft, Stokes’ strength was one of the Grizzlies’ weaknesses last year. Despite being the best at preventing the other team from grabbing rebounds, the Grizzlies were only average at best at grabbing boards themselves.

Unlike the team’s situation with guards, the Grizzlies still have a need for more power forwards on their roster. With only Randolph and Jon Leuer signed to the team right now, the Grizzlies desperately need someone that can grab boards, meaning that Stokes will almost certainly make the team’s opening day roster barring a major free agent signing.

Chance to make the team: 90%