What Experts Are Saying About Kennedy Chandler to Memphis

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    Kennedy Chandler is officially an NBA Draft selection. After San Antonio drafted Kennedy Chandler with the 38th overall pick (Round 2, Pick 8), the former Tennessee player’s draft rights were immediately traded over to Memphis.

    Now, the player that played high school basketball in Memphis and college basketball in Knoxville will be gearing up for NBA action back in Memphis.

    With the NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, many experts have already penned out their thoughts, reactions, and analysis of the big event last night. When it comes to the analysis of Kennedy Chandler, many of the experts share the same surprise that Chandler had slipped into the second round. However, as many of the mock drafts did leading into the draft, experts still point to Chandler’s size as a reason for concern, or at least as an explanation for his drop.

    Overall, it seems as though many of the experts feel good about Chandler’s landing spot in Memphis and the value he is at his spot.

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    CBS Sports – Gary Parrish & Kyle Boone

    • Grade: A
    • “After measuring just shy of six-foot without shoes at the NBA Draft Combine, shortest among all participants, Chandler slid all the way to No. 38 despite a clear first-round talent profile. That’s the Grizzlies’ gain here, as they add a dynamic, speedy point guard who was ranked as the No. 22 player in our final prospect rankings.”

    The Commerical Appeal (Memphis) – Evan Barnes

    • Grade: B+
    • “The Grizzlies could lose Tyus Jones to free agency so they need a backup point guard who can set the table and maintain defense. In Chandler’s lone season at Tennessee, he showed off his quickness, athleticism, ability to get to the rim and defend with a 6-foot-5 wingspan.

      Chandler will push the tempo and be a solid defender. Besides his size (6-foot-1), the real question is whether the Grizzlies turn this into a two-way contract.

      Keep an eye on Chandler in Summer League because his play could help determine whether he’ll go from Morant’s mentee to teammate.”

    The Athletic – Sam Vecenie & John Hollinger

      • Vecenie: I want to like Chandler as a prospect because he’s tough and he’s about the right stuff. He makes strong decisions, has lightning-quick speed and tries on defense. On top of that, he has some of the skills that someone like, say, Sharife Cooper, didn’t last year. Whereas Cooper was an entirely on-ball player, Chandler can shoot off the catch, which could allow him to play as more of a role player. Plus, his defensive game is at a drastically different place. But it’s hard to buy into smaller guards in today’s NBA given how much the league hunts these guys in important moments. Plus, if Chandler’s ability to pressure the rim and score there falls apart, it’s possible his offensive game is non-existent if the pull-up shooting doesn’t translate. There are some pathways here to Chandler becoming a lower-end starter or a higher-end backup. But the floor is lower than you’d like to see through absolutely no fault of his own, given that he can’t get taller.
      • Hollinger: Value-wise, I like the idea of Chandler at No. 38. He should have been a first-round pick, and I had mocked him to the Grizzlies at 29. His addition also provides a bit of insurance if Tyus Jones leaves in free agency, especially since De’Anthony Melton was traded to Philadelphia. 

    Bleacher Report – Zach Buckley

    • Grade: B-
    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.