by Kevin Lipe
The Grizzlies have selected point guard Wade Baldwin from Vanderbilt with the 17th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Baldwin has size, he has wingspan for days, he shot 40% from 3 in college, and he adds point guard depth to a roster that needed it even assuming Mike Conley isn't going anywhere.
After days of wondering who was telling the truth about whether or not the Grizzlies had promised to select Malachi Richardson, several more highly-regarded players fell to the Grizzlies (others included Timothe Luwawu and Skal Labissiere) and they went with Baldwin, whose upside may not be quite as high as some others, but who is a solid, proven player with an established skill set.
As the Grizzlies transition to the Fizdale era, player development is more important than it's ever been. This pick, like all of the ones before it, is meaningless if Baldwin doesn't get minutes on the floor in which to learn the ins and outs of the NBA game. Hopefully we can take the Grizzlies at their word that player development is a focus, because if so, the selection of Baldwin puts them in a position to have a very good backup to Conley (along with 2015 draftee Andrew Harrison) in the near future.