Ariel Nava via CalBears.com
Ivan Rabb finally heard his name called in tonight’s NBA Draft, going #35 overall to the Memphis Grizzlies via the Orlando Magic. It was unclear where Ivan Rabb would go, with some projections having him go in the mid first-round and others having him fall into the second round. For Rabb, it’s just a relief that his name has been called and that he knows where he is going.
As far as what Ivan Rabb will bring to the Grizzlies, he’ll bring rebounding, energy, and offensive versatility. In his sophomore year at Cal, Rabb averaged 14 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1 block per game, shooting 48.4% from the field and 40.0% from three-point range.
Rabb was a projected lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, so on the surface it looks like coming back for his sophomore year may have been a mistake. However, when looking at how he performed during his sophomore year, it’s clear that he did get better. His scoring went up, his rebounding went up, he developed more of a three-point shot, and he didn’t commit as many fouls per 40 minutes.
Most importantly, Rabb learned how to be much more of a leader. During his two years at Cal, I noticed tremendous growth in Rabb just in terms of how he embraced that leadership role both on the court and off the court in sessions with the media. He embraced the leadership role in full. He always shouldered the blame when Cal lost and he was always quick to give out praise to his teammates when they won.
Last season, the Grizzlies went 43-39, falling to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Rabb will be expected to help them get back to the playoffs by giving them more depth in the post and helping them remain one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA.