C - Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet, Hamed Haddadi
PF - Zach Randolph, Darrell Arthur, Kenny Thomas, DeMarre Carroll
SF - Rudy Gay, Sam Young, Damien Wilkins
SG - OJ Mayo, Tony Allen, Xavier Henry
PG - Mike Conley, Acie Law, Greivis Vasquez
Brad: Here's where it gets interesting... I've seen a consensus "Bottom 3" in the west, not coincidentally the teams we've already covered in this space, and here's where the experts diverge... Memphis was a playoff contender for the duration of the year last year, and I have them at 12? Why? A combination of things... This is a strong starting 5, but the depth is really lacking... Tony Allen, Sam Young and Hasheem Thabeet is not a playoff contending #6-#8... Rudy Gay got his money, and is the spitting image of a guy who you'd need to be concerned about post-contract extension... they also got perfect behavior and massive production from Zach Randolph in 2009, but no matter how great he was last year, I'm not sure he's a 100% lock to repeat that performance... Also, the 1st-rounders were fairly interesting, esp. Vasquez who I don't think is an NBA point guard... what say you, sir?
Ryan: I can't really refute the lack of credible depth in the backcourt...Henry as well as Vasquez aren't proven(hell neither is Thabeet for that matter) but that starting 5 is very very good..and that will win you many games...and sidebar I do think Vasquez will be a productive player in the L..it just takes time....but anyways depending on who gets hurt I think they still could be functioning as a playoff threat.I think Henry will be a really good scorer and that Tony Allen will be something productive on defense.We all know the relaxed nature of Rudy Gay but he took a pretty big step forward in the World Championships(if that means anything)..pencil in 19 and 10 for Zach and I would like to see OJ turn the corner and become THE guy on this team but who knows....
Brad: I still feel like last year was a bit of an aberration of all things coming together... and they didn't improve the squad anywhere tangibly... If everyone is healthy and clicking? I'm probably low on them... but I'll have to see it to believe it with guys like Thabeet... Funny thing is, I really like most guys on this roster (sans Rudy Gay), so an explosion from Mayo, or another step forward from Gay/Randolph/Gasol to make them a contender wouldn't be far away... I have them well out of the playoffs, but make no mistake, this is a playoff team if they are in the other conference... Prediction: 12th in the West
Ryan: I'll remember that 1st sentence for a particular team that was moved from the Pacific Northwest..but yeah I don't have them in the playoffs either but I have them at a strong 11 spot... Prediction: 11th in the West