Abracadabra! The Memphis Grizzlies did its best Houdini imitation and turned turning no picks in the 2017 NBA Draft into two players, plus a late free agent addition.
The Grizzlies, with a total of six selections in their pocket for 2018 and 2019, exchanged two of them for picks in last night's talent grab.
The Grizz traded a future second rounder with Orlando for Ivan Rabb out of California, the 35th overall pick. In addition, another future second rounder was traded to Houston for Dillon Brooks of Oregon, who was taken 45th.
In Rabb, the Grizzlies get a 6'10", 220-pound sophomore who averaged a double-double 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds.
"He's [Rabb] always been an elite player among his age group nationally. He had two very productive years at the University of California," Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. "Excellent rebounder, runs the floor. And we just thought he was too good to pass up."
In Brooks, the Grizzlies get the PAC-12 player of the year, a 6'6" small forward who helped lead Oregon to the Final Four and averaged more than 16 points per game.
"He can score outside, inside, handle the ball, defend," Wallace said about Brooks. "And he's a very fiery competitor that was a leader of that team."
After the draft, multiple news outlets reported that the Memphis Grizzlies signed free agent Kobi Simmons of Arizona.
A crazy athletic point guard with a 45" vertical leap, Simmons is McDonald's "All-American" who left the Wildcats after his freshman season. He was considered a sleeper prospect because of his microwave scoring ability.
Simmons, Brooks, and Rabb are all expected to play on the Grizzlies' summer league team next month in Las Vegas.
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