2016 NBA draft primer: Memphis Grizzlies
Following a season marred by injuries and undercut by deadline trades, the Memphis Grizzlies enter the 2016 draft in a transition period: Standout point guard Mike Conley is entering unrestricted free agency and head coach Dave Joerger is now in Sacramento.
The Grizzlies hold the No. 17 overall pick needing to find more draft success than they have in past years. Perhaps their first priority? Offensive firepower.
The Grizzlies finished last in effective field-goal percentage and second-to-last in offensive rating, which can be partially attributed to missing the likes of Conley, Marc Gasol and practically every other major contributor for long stretches. But Memphis has been in this predicament for a while. The shooting and scoring woes of the Grit 'N' Grind group trace back three straight seasons and recent draft picks have, to date, not panned out.
Regardless of position, the Grizzlies need to find a difference-maker for an aging roster, particularly on the offensive end. With Gasol, Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright still in the fold, expect Memphis' front office to lean toward backcourt or wing help.
MOCK DRAFT TRACKER
Draft Express: Malachi Richardson, Syracuse
Richardson first started drawing national attention for his exploits in the NCAA tournament, helping the Orange stun their way to the Final Four as the 6-foot-6 freshman turned in 20-point outings. A 35 percent outside shooter in his lone college season, Richardson was streaky and flashed poor decision-making — like many freshman — but boasts the frame and ability to be a rotation player in the right situation.
CBS Sports: Wade Baldwin, Vanderbilt
The top projected prospect off a talented Vanderbilt roster, the 6-foot-3 Baldwin possesses ideal height at the point guard position. He flashed excellent shooting ability during his two college seasons (40.6 percent from 3-point range), which will be a welcome sight in Memphis, and could be a plus defender for either guard position.
NBA.com: Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
Standing right around 6 feet tall, Jackson makes up for his stature with explosiveness and wingspan — and his productivity in college, where he excelled particularly in pick-and-roll situations, should allow him to immediately help any team's point guard depth in Year 1. Obviously with Conley's future unknown, there could be much bigger shoes to fill.
PAST 3 PICKS
2015: Drafted Jarell Martin at No. 25 overall
2014: Drafted Jordan Adams at No. 22 overall
2013: Drafted Jamaal Franklin and Joffrey Lauvergne in the second round