June 23, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Not knowing what All-Star center Marc Gasol will do as a free agent leaves the Memphis Grizzlies facing a variety of options of what they could do in the NBA Draft.

Their ongoing search for a long-range shooter continues and now they might be in the market for their first center in years with Gasol determined to explore free agency and backup Kosta Koufos also hitting the market July 1.

Memphis holds the No. 25 pick Thursday night, having swapped the second-round pick to New Orleans in January as part of a three-team trade that brought forward Jeff Green from Boston. Green picked up his option for next season.

''Anything can happen once you get past 20,'' general manager Chris Wallace said.

The Grizzlies certainly brought in an array of players for workouts in preparation for the draft from point guards and perimeter players to power forwards. They worked out Kentucky's Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Ryan Harrow of Georgia State, UCLA's Norman Powell and Josh Richardson of Tennessee among others.

They still need perimeter shooting even after finishing 55-27- the second-best season in franchise history- and second in the Southwest with the No. 5 seed despite ranking next to last in 3-point shooting. That's a vast difference from the Golden State Warriors, the eventual NBA champs who ousted the Grizzlies in six games in the Western Conference semifinals.

Coach Dave Joerger certainly has looked closely at the outside shooters.

''You always think, `Well, how much can I help this guy's shooting?''' Joerger said of picking a shooter. ''It's not that it's a bad shot, but how much better can it get? We're definitely looking at size at the wing.''

Picking late in the first round means fewer options. Players projected to Memphis include 6-foot-6 shooting guard Justin Anderson from Virginia, who could be a nice fit considering he shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range last season for the Cavaliers. Georgia State senior guard R.J. Hunter could be the choice if Anderson is gone. Small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson from Arizona and Duke guard Tyus Jones also could be considered.

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Some things to know about the Grizzlies heading into Thursday night's NBA draft:

GO BIG: Gasol coming off his first season as an All-Star center and first-team All-NBA makes him a top free agent target. Then add the anticipated departure of Koufos could force Memphis to take a center. Memphis drafted 6-foot-11 center Joffrey Lauvergne from France in 2013, but he was dealt immediately to Denver. Before Lauvergne, the Grizzlies also had the ill-fated selection of 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet with the second overall pick in 2009. Thabeet lasted two seasons in Memphis, playing in 113 games.

BAD PAST: Memphis doesn't have a great history of draft choices making a long-term impact on the team. Of the players on the Memphis roster, point guard Mike Conley, the fourth overall pick in 2007, and Jordan Adams, the team's first-round pick last year, are the only ones drafted by the team. Jarnell Stokes, also a 2014 draft choice, was selected by Utah and obtained by Memphis in a trade.

GUARD RELIANT: Memphis has concentrated on guards primarily in recent years searching for the elusive long-range shooter or backup point guard. That led to the Grizzlies calling the names of Tony Wroten, Jamaal Franklin, Josh Selby and Xavier Henry in the past few years - all of whom eventually moved on to other teams.

WHAT YOU CAN GET AT 25: There's a scattering of viable players taken with the 25th overall pick in recent years, including Nicolas Batum in 2008 by Houston, Gerald Wallace in 2001 by Sacramento and Memphis defensive stalwart Tony Allen, taken at the spot in 2004 by Boston. The Grizzlies have had the pick twice in the past five drafts, picking Wroten in 2012 and Dominique Jones in 2010.

SECOND LOOK: The Grizzlies brought in Josh Richardson of Tennessee for two workouts and spoke highly of the 6-6 guard, who led the Vols in scoring last season. He also led the Southeastern Conference in minutes played and ranked second averaging 1.9 steals per game.

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