The Grizzlies have been allergic to drafting quality players dating back to their very first draft in 1995. We won’t even touch on Hasheem Thabeet in this article, but the Grizzlies certainly have had more busts than gems. Of course they had some hits with Mike Conley in 2007 and trading Pau Gasol for the draft rights to Marc Gasol the following year. Other than that, the Grizzlies have ultimately failed to do much good at all in the draft. Instead of dragging the entire Grizzlies draft history even further through the mud, we are just going to focus on the last 5 Grizzlies first round picks.
2010 1 28 Greivis Vásquez VEN PG/SG Maryland (from L.A. Lakers)
2012 1 25 Tony Wroten PG Washington
2014 1 22 Jordan Adams SG UCLA
2015 1 25 Jarell Martin PF LSU
2016 1 17 Wade Baldwin PG Vanderbilt
Only two of these five players are still on the Grizzlies roster (Baldwin & Martin). While Baldwin has showed slight flashes of potential in his play time due to injuries to players above him, Martin has made himself comfortable at the end of the bench. The Grizz have struggled mightily to develop rookie talent into solid rotational players and it is showing in their young talent’s lackluster performance’s. Zero of the five previously mentioned players are starters on their respective teams, although Vasquez has had a respectable career. Being able to draft and develop talent is extremely important, especially since Memphis is a contender who is usually capped out each year due to them opting to keep the band together. The only bright side here is that Memphis doesn’t have a first round pick in the 2017 Draft to potentially waste on a prospect they will never give a chance to develop.
Written by: Landon Adams