While the brain trusts of the league's other teams were mulling the endless possibilities in the week that led up to Wednesday's NBA draft, personnel men might have been surprised to learn that the Grizzlies, owners of the second pick, had already made a commitment. To two players, no less.
On June 20, Vancouver worked out guards Speedy Claxton of Hofstra and Eddie Gill of Weber State. Grizzlies player personnel director Tony Barone, undoubtedly a bit numb from having put more than two dozen players through their paces, told the pair jokingly, "I'm empowered to say that if you make a shot from center court, you'll be the Number 2 pick in the draft."
"This for real?" Claxton asked, and when Barone nodded, he stepped up to center court and drained one. Gill then proceeded to bank his shot home.
"I've done that 100 times, where you offer to buy the whole camp a soda if a guy sinks it," Barone said, "and in 20 years that has only happened one time."
Luckily for the Grizzlies, this offer wasn't in writing.