Memphis Grizzlies a Playoff Contender?

Joseph BosaCorrespondent IJune 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 12:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies sets on the court aganst the Los Angeles Lakers on April 12, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

For the last several years the Memphis Grizzlies have been the joke of the NBA.  Several years ago they selected a kid out of UConn named Rudy Gay. He gave them a breath of fresh air, a young wing man to lead them, and an awesome scoring threat. 

They shipped off Pau Gasol for practically nothing, leading fans to believe that they don't even care about winning.

Last year they bring in one of the next greats in O.J. Mayo to compliment Rudy Gay's scoring ability. Now they have two very talented, young scorers with enough talent for an entire team. Throw in a growing point guard in Mike Conley, and a solid center in Marc Gasol... now they seem to have a solid team. 

At the beginning of the '08-'09 season, excitement was high. Yet, the team struggled, they lack a defensive threat and a player that can dominate.

Fast forward to the end of the season and the Grizzlies suffered another devastating losing season. Will this team ever win...ever?

The 2009 NBA draft, rolls along and the Grizzlies have maybe one of the most interesting draft classes ever seen in the NBA. 

Hasheem Thabeet being selected second overall gives them that dominating defensive player they have craved for so long. He is long, with a lethal blocking stroke, and an ever improving offensive game. He can hit a 13-foot jumper, and at 7' 2", you're not blocking that. 

DeMarre Carroll was selected at the end of the first round and left fans scratching their heads. Then things begin to make sense. Carroll lead an underrated Missouri team in scoring and on defense. Once described as a "Junk Yard Dog," this scrappy defender will stick on you like glue and chase you all over the court. 

Sam Young was selected in the second round. Unlike the last pick, the fans are staring at their TV screens salivate at the pick. Young had no business in the second round. He was a little older than most of the other prospects, yet he has all the tools of a lottery pick. He seems to be NBA ready and has great size. Not to mention, he is a lock down defender and can hit a shot from anywhere on the court.

With the Grizzlies already solid, young core they added the defensive pieces they needed. 

"Possible Line Up's"

Starters Reserves

PG- Mike Conley                  Mike Wilks

SG- O.J. Mayo                     Greg Buckner

SF- Rudy Gay                      Sam Young

PF- Darrell Arthur                DeMarre Carroll, Hakim Warrick

C- Hasheem Thabeet            Marc Gasol

The lineup looks better than great on paper. It looks playoff great, but to see if it is that great we can only wait and see. In any case, things are defiantly looking up in Memphis.