Pick 28: Memphis has the Lakers' pick here, as a part of the Pau Gasol trade. You know of the Pau Gasol draft, right? It was the trade that looked far worse than it was when it first happened, then began to show its true value once Marc Gasol came over and starred, but then looked really bad again when Pau made noticable improvement after the age of 28.
Last season, the Grizzlies were highly fortunate with injuries. All four of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen all played at least 78 games, as did Jerryd Bayless. Rudy Gay was also healthy for his half season of play before being dealt. So were his replacements, Ed Davis and Tayshaun Prince, and so was Marreese Speights prior to his midseason departure. But this year, their luck ran out. Gasol has been injured, and it has cratered the team.
Counting the game in which he played only 9 minutes and got hurt as one in which he didn't play (which seems fair), the Grizzlies are 7-5 with Gasol in the lineup and 5-11 without him. Considering that Gasol is both the reigning defensive player of the year and a nightly triple-double threat, this is no surprise. No one can replace a player that good, even if they do have one of the league's best backups at that position (and in Kosta Koufos, the Grizzlies do). Ewing Theory anomalies notwithstanding, a team can't offset the loss of a star, and the Grizzlies are feeling his irreplaceable loss in all facets of their game. That much is unavoidable.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.