On This Day: The Memphis Grizzlies Drafted Mike Conley Jr.

Anthony Sain

Thirteen years ago today the Memphis Grizzlies selected Mike Conley Jr. - a player that would go on to be one of the franchise's all-time greats. His arrival did not come with much fanfare, but he would grow on the team and the city in due and overdue time.

Conley was drafted fourth overall in the 2007 NBA Draft,  behind Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, and Al Horford.  The Grizzlies had the best odds to get the number one pick that year with the worst-case scenario being the Grizzlies picking forth, which is what happened.

When it became evident that the Grizzlies would not be getting either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, Conley was not the consultation prize that the Grizzlies wanted for being the worst team in the NBA the previous season.

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© Justin Ford -USA TODAY Sports

Through rookie year injuries, originally not playing in home games, barely escaping being traded for Ramon Sessions and Joe Alexander, an abundance of fan and media pressure to produce more, and simply not being the one that many wanted to be here over then second-year point guard Kyle Lowry, Conley would persevere to become the Grizzlies all-time leader in points, assists, steals, games played, and three-pointers made.

Conley was the 'Conductor' and 'Captain Clutch' of the Grizzlies 'Core Four' era alongside Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Tony Allen and went from scapegoat to one of the G.O.A.T.s - the greatest of all-time Grizzlies. 

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© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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- Anthony Sain - Memphis Grizzlies Beat Writer and Lead Editor For Sports Illustrated's All Grizzlies.com

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