With the 2019-20 just around the corner with preseason action underway, I thought I’d take a look at each of the 30 NBA teams’ all-time starting lineups.
Highlighting the top players in each franchise’s history, the all-time lineup was created using players individual accolades as well as team success during each players’ stint. Beginning with last season’s non-playoff teams and finishing up with the season’s 16 postseason participants, here is the next team in line, the Memphis Grizzlies.
Guard: Mike Conley Jr. (2007-2019)
Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league during his career, Conley was the point guard of the greatest teams in Grizzlies history, leading the team to seven consecutive playoff appearances from 2011-17, including their lone conference finals in 2012-13.
A 2012-13 All-Defensive Second Team honoree, Conley is the longest tenured player in franchise history (12 seasons), and his name is all over the team’s record books.
He is the Grizzlies all-time leading scorer, as well as assists, steals, three-point field goals and games played leader. Conley was also a great teammate and leader in the community, receiving the 2018-19 NBA Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award and the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times (2014, 2016, 2019). After his trade to Utah, the Grizzlies announced plans to retire Conley’s jersey following his retirement from the NBA.
Guard: Tony Allen (2010-17)
Known as “The Grindfather”, Allen was a defensive stalwart during the “Grit-n-Grind” era of Grizzlies basketball.
Helping lead the team to seven playoff appearances from 2011-17, Allen was selected to three All-Defensive First Teams (2012, 2013, 2015) and three All-Defensive Second Teams (2011, 2016, 2017). Once his career ends, the Grizzlies announced they would retire Allen’s No. 9 at the FedEx Forum.
Forward: Pau Gasol (2001-08)
The franchises first star, Pau Gasol made an immediate impact on the club after a recent move to Tennessee, being named to the All-Rookie First Team and taking home the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award for the 2001-02 season.
Gasol continued to rise in stardom, leading the Grizzlies to their first playoff appearance in 2004, as well as playoff trips in 2005 and 2006 while being named an All-Star for the first time during the 2005-06 campaign.
Following some disappointing seasons by the team, Gasol was traded to the Lakers following the 2006-07 season, a trade which netted Memphis a Gasol’s younger brother Marc, who in turn became one of the best players in franchise history.
Forward: Zach Randolph (2009-17)
The Grizzlies all-time leader in rebounds per game, Randolph was another key piece to the team’s success of the “Grit-n-Grind” era.
After an All-Star season in 2009-10, Randolph followed up the next season with an All-NBA Third Team selection while helping Memphis reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006. After another playoff appearance in 2012, he was named an All-Star again in 2013, helping guide the Grizzlies to the lone conference finals appearance in franchise history.
Following four more playoff appearances in the following four years in Memphis, Randolph departed after the 2016-17 season. Much like his other “Grit-n-Grind” era comrades, the Grizzlies announced they would retire Randolph’s No. 50 following his retirement from basketball.
Center: Marc Gasol (2008-19)
The younger brother of All-Star Pau Gasol, Marc carved out possibly the best career in Grizzlies team history, leading the team to seven playoff appearances and its only trip to the conference finals along the way.
Named an All-Star for the first time in 2012, Gasol was named to the All-NBA Second and All-Defensive Second teams following the 2012-13 season, topping it off winning the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
He was named an All-Star and All-NBA First Team selection for the 2014-15 season, and was named an All-Star again in 2017 while leading Memphis to its last of seven straight postseasons.
The Grizzlies all-time leader in rebounds and minutes played was traded to the Raptors at the 2018-19 season’s trade deadline, bringing an end to the most decorated individual career in franchise history. Gasol will also be honored with his No. 33 jersey being retired following his career.