Pre-draft analysis

Areas Of Strength
The Grizzlies have one of the best point guards (Mike Conley) and best big men (Marc Gasol) in basketball when they are both healthy and on the court together. The fact that there’s been so little time with the two of them on the floor together recently might explain some of the Grizzlies’ struggles. But Conley and Gasol are still the best shot the Grizzlies have of riding a wave back into the playoff mix in the Western Conference. And J.B. Bickerstaff is the coach the Grizzlies front office believes can take this group there.

Needs Work
The identity crisis that doomed the David Fizdale era in Memphis can no longer be an issue. The Grizzlies have to let go of their recent past, the grit and grind Grizzlies are history. Embracing a new style, a new way of operating and a new vision for the future is necessary for this group to move forward. And that includes Gasol letting of whatever ego issues he allowed to undermine his relationship with his former coach. Their needs to be a full on embrace of change if the Grizzlies are serious about a return to playoff territory.

Two Stats That Matter 
21 -- The Grizzlies won 21 fewer games than they did in 2016-17. That was the biggest drop-off in the league.

33.3 -- The Grizzlies ranked last in opponent free throw rate for the third straight season, with their opponents attempting 33.3 free throws per 100 shots from the field.

-- John Schuhmann

The Way To Go
The Grizzlies need a dynamic talent to add to the marquee alongside Conley and Gasol and should be in prime position to land a player of that caliber with the No. 4 pick in this draft. Jarren Jackson Jr. has the ideal dimensions to be the versatile pace-and-space big the Grizzlies, or any team, would love to have. Luka Doncic is floor balancing perimeter star that would set the city on fire with excitement. And Mohamed Bamba, with length and athleticism in surplus, would offer a rim-protecting presence the Grizzlies have never had. Every choice at No. 4 produces a winning proposition in Memphis.

2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 101.8 (27th)
Defensive: 108.4 (24th)

Under Contract
G: Mike Conley
G: Ben McLemore
G: Andrew Harrison
G: Kobi Simmons
G/F: Wayne Selden
G/F: MarShon Brooks
F/G: Dillon Brooks
F: JaMychal Green
F: Myke Henry
F: Omari Johnson
F: Jarell Martin
F: Chandler Parsons
F: Ivan Rabb
C/F: Deyonta Davis
C: Marc Gasol 

Free Agents
G: Mario Chalmers (unrestricted)
G/F: Tyreke Evans (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History
2017:
Acquired Ivan Rabb (35) in trade with Orlando, acquired Dillion Brooks (45) in trade with Houston
2016: Wade Baldwin IV (17); Wang Zhelin (57)
2015: Jarell Martin (25)
2014: Jordan Adams (22)
2013: Jamaal Franklin (41); Joffrey Lauvergne (55) traded to Nuggets, Janis Timma (60)
2012: Tony Wroten (25) 

 -- Sekou Smith


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