MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Grizzlies fans were optimistic headed into Tuesday night's 2018 NBA Draft Lottery.
After losing Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and 60 games last season, Grizz Nation needed some good news. The draft lottery watch party at the Railgarten in Midtown was filled with lots of anxious anticipation.
But it quickly turned into a bit of a bummer when the Memphis Grizzlies landed the number four pick.
"It could've been worse," said longtime Grizzlies fan, Jason Rosselot. "But I wanted a top 3 pick."
Rosselot's been a season ticket holder for 17 years, riding the highs and lows with the team ever since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis. He's used to bumps in the road.
"A number four pick is disappointing," he said, "because you're going to take the leftovers. After this season and everything we've been through, honestly, I'm disappointed."
But his friend and partner in crime at Grizzlies games, Cullen Morgan, sees a silver lining with pick four.
"If you think about it," Morgan said, "the last time we drafted a number four was Mike Conley, a staple of the team and my favorite player!"
Joyce Lynette Saulsberry and her sorority sister, Theresa Herrington, didn't miss a single game this season.
In fact, the ladies, now retired and in their 60's, have been going to Grizzlies games since the franchise arrived in Memphis in the 2001-2002 season. Both have high hopes next season will be successful.
"It was a rough season," Herrington admitted, but it's promising. We have new, young players. And we have Dillon Brooks. I love Dillon!"
"Hopefully," said Saulsberry, "we can get a big man to help Marc Gasol out."
Grizz fans did let a big cheer out when former Grizz Elliott Perry appeared on the big screen. Perry and his Grizzlies Prep mentee, Courtney Love, got to experience the draft first hand in Chicago.
It's a draft that leaves Grizz Nation dreaming of a championship season.
"I know the front office will make a good pick," said Rosselot, "and choose the best player available."
"I trust the front office is going to make the right moves," added Morgan.
"I feel that we will be in the playoffs next season," said Saulsberry. "I just feel it."
The NBA draft takes place June 21 in New York.