The Memphis Grizzlies were formerly known as the Vancouver Grizzlies, an NBA professional basketball team based in Canada and was established in 1995 as a part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference. The team moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States in 2001 and was renamed and rebranded.
The Grizzlies had a better season in 2020-21 than they have had since 2017-2018, finishing ninth in the Western Conference with a 38-34 record. Ja Morant led the Grizzlies in points per game (19.1) and number of minutes played per game (32.6).
The Grizzlies have over time acquired some of the best players in the NBA, like Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Pau and Marc Gasol. Let's take a look at the top five players in their history.
#5 Mike Conley
Mike Conley spent most of his NBA career with the Grizzlies and was a huge part of the franchise for 12 seasons. He has a career average of 14.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in 886 games played. The point guard was traded to the Utah Jazz in 2019, due to an obvious need to rebuild.
Conley was the fourth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. He holds the record for the most points (11,733), assists (4,509), steals (1,161) and games played in the history of the Grizzlies. He had a field goal percentage of .441, scoring 5.3 times in 12 attempts from the field and a three-point accuracy of 37.5%.
#4 Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph featured in 551 games for the Grizzlies, recording an average of 16.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The two-time NBA All-Star was with the Grizzlies for eight seasons and became a fan favorite.
Randolph was the best all-time rebounder in the Grizzlies' history (5,612) until Marc Gasol broke his record with (5,942). Z-Bo has the third-highest number of points and games recorded by a Memphis player. He had a field goal percentage of .47.6%, successfully netting 6.8 of his 14.2 attempts from the field during his time with the Grizzlies. In 2004, he was accorded the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
#3 Pau Gasol
In the 2008 NBA off-season, Pau Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Grizzlies in exchange for Marc Gasol. He is the second-best all-time scorer in Grizzlies history, with an average of 18.8 points per game in 476 appearances. The two-time NBA champion represented the Grizzlies for seven seasons.
Gasol was the 3rd overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks but was traded to the Grizzlies. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002 and has been selected to the All-Star team six times. He holds the record for the best all-time field goal accuracy (50.9%). He recorded 8,966 points (4th), 4096 rebounds (3rd) and 1,473 assists in his time with the Grizzlies. He is the all-time second-best rebounder for a Memphis player with an average of 8.6 rebounds completed per game.
#2 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Shareef Abdur-Rahim is the greatest scorer in the history of the Grizzlies with a record average of 20.8 points per game in 375 appearances. The one-time NBA All-Star player recorded a total of 7,801 points, 3,070 rebounds and 1,081 assists for the Grizzlies.
The then Vancouver Grizzlies small forward spent 5 seasons of his 13 year-long NBA career with the Grizzlies. He had a career average of 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in a total of 830 games played. Reef was known to be a reliable rebounder, ranking third with an average of 8.2 rebounds per game, only behind Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph. He fielded more than any Memphis player for a record average of 38.0 minutes per game.
#1 Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol was acquired in 2008 and has since featured in 769 games for the Grizzlies, the second-highest number of games by a player for the Grizzlies, only second to Conley. He has since proved to be a Memphis legend, showing his versatility, being the all-time leader in rebounds (5,942) and second-best in points (11,684) and assists (2,639).
The 2013 Defensive Player of the Year recorded an average of 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game during his time with the Grizzlies. Big Marc has the most minutes on the floor in Grizzlies history (25,917) and leads as the all-time best in blocks (1,135). The 2019 NBA champion has the third-best field goal accuracy (48.4%) by a Memphis player. He was an amazing passer, a solid rebounder and a vital player in franchise history.