Get used to the look. Maybe. Image via media.commercialappeal.com
In every iteration of the VazTracker, Maryland's former star point guard Greivis Vasquez has figured in somewhere in the second round. But in this one, real discussion of Vasquez as a potential first round pick has finally picked up.
A few days ago, Vasquez worked out for the Memphis Grizzlies alongside Ish Smith, Sherron Collins, and a few other collegiate stars, and apparently did pretty well while he was there. Chris Herrington, a writer for the Memphis Flyer, called Vasquez "surprisingly, intriguingly good." Tony Barone, the Grizzlies' director of player personnel, was complimentary of his production in college and seems to be one of the few guys that understands that Vasquez is ultimately a point guard. Meanwhile, talk on Twitter and Memphis message boards indicate that Barone really likes Vasquez. Oh, did I mention that Memphis has three first round picks, including two in the mid-to-late 20s?
And all that combines to mean that Vasquez has a legitimate chance at going in the first round, even if only to Memphis. Don't believe me? DraftExpress, one of the best mock draft outlets and one of the few based on sources as much as conjecture, has Vasquez going to Memphis with pick #28 in the first round. So does another blog from FanSided. And even though some Memphis fans don't have Vasquez as a first rounder, they still seem to hold him in high regard and are targeting him as an early second round selection.
So yeah, not out of the realm of imagination, not that it ever was to begin with. All it takes is one team to take a liking to him, and it appears one might've. It's not much to base this type of claim off of, granted, but its better than nothing.
Not everyone's on the bandwagon, of course. NBADraft.net still has him as a second-round choice to the Lakers (this would still be awesome). Vasquez goes to the Suns in the second round of Ridiculous Upside's mock draft (also awesome). And WalterFootball thinks its most likely he goes to the Knicks (also kind of awesome).
The draft goes down in exactly one week in Madison Square Garden, although Vasquez still has some visits to make, including a trip to Atlanta. We'll have more on Vaz as judgment day nears.
UPDATE: Herrington just got up his writeup of Vasquez and Jordan Crawford. Very, very positive.
Vasquez has uniformly been down in the 50s in all mock drafts throughout the process, but I included him on my most recent Grizzlies draft board because his name comes up frequently in discussions about players the Grizzlies plan to look at. The team likes him and apparently that information is starting to get out, as Draft Express has moved Vasquez all the way up to the team's #28 pick.
Vasquez looked pretty ordinary in initial solo and one-on-one drills, but when the team moved into three-on-three play, he began to stand out. More than anyone I can remember seeing in past draft workouts, Vasquez consistently made smart, effective passes to set up teammates for shots. He also talked to teammates and directed traffic - offensively and defensively - more than anyone I remember. He had a strong presence on the floor and backed it up with results. He also shot the ball fairly well in shooting drills, showing form that suggests that - with work - he can emerge as a viable three-point shooter.