2007 Draft Position: 4th
2007 Draft Pick: Mike Conley
After three straight post-season appearances, the 2006-2007 Grizzlies got a slap in the face. Hard. The team's All-Star big man, Pau Gasol, broke his foot during the off-season while playing for Spain in the World Championships. Without his inside presence, the Grizzlies got off to a horrid 5-17 start and didn't improve even as Gasol slowly worked his way back into the lineup. Head coach Mike Fratello was fired halfway through the season, and the Grizz limped to the league's worst record.
Things only got worse as the Grizzlies somehow ended up with the fourth pick in the NBA Draft, missing out on opportunities to draft Greg Oden, Kevin Durant or Al Horford. Memphis ended up with Ohio State's Mike Conley Jr. After struggling early, and losing his starting job to Kyle Lowry in his second season, Conley is now a stud point guard for an extremely talented Grizzlies team that has made the playoffs the past three seasons.
Verdict: He has yet to make an All-Star game, but Conley's steady presence and increase in points and assists have allowed the Grizzlies to turn into a legitimate conference finals contender in the West.
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