Memphis Grizzlies: 15 best NBA Draft picks of all time

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Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The pick the Grizzlies take in the upcoming draft will be as pivotal as any in the team’s history. We took a look back and ranked the franchise’s 15 best picks to see what this their next one will have to live up to.

Generally, I make a conscious effort to avoid thinking about the Memphis Grizzlies draft history. I didn’t put a lot of forethought into this though and figured compiling and ranking a list of the 15 best picks would mostly entail remembering and comparing players that have panned out rather than the all the bad.

That turned out to be the incorrect assumption.

I did learn that there have been nine players in NBA history who individually have more All-Star appearances than the 13 that the Grizzlies’ 43 picks have combined for. But zero of those 13 All-Star seasons came during any of the players’ tenures with the Grizzlies.

So actually 489 players in NBA history individually have more All-Star appearances than the combined careers of every draft pick in team history.

It’s actually impressive that they’ve managed to put a decent team on the court at any point over the last two decades. The fact that they’ve made the playoffs seven of the last eight seasons seems unimaginable.

The team’s general manager for the last 11 seasons, Chris Wallace, takes credit for the run of success. But most of the Grizzlies’ accomplishments the last decade have been in spite of Wallace, rather than because of him. Enjoy the next fifteen slides if you’re on the fence or disagree though.

This list is technically supposed to be 15 players drafted by the Grizzlies. Since Memphis’ zoo has more actual bears (12) than its NBA franchise has worthy draft choices, I decided to include a couple of players that the team acquired via trades on draft night.

It made more sense and stung a little less than having a top-15 list with four blank slides.

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