The Memphis Grizzlies should hold on to Andrew Harrison


The Memphis Grizzlies should consider keeping Andrew Harrison. At the very least he can be a valuable D League option for their affiliate the Iowa Energy. He has great size for the point guard position as he stands at 6’6″, 210 lbs.

He is aggressive at attacking the basket, a decent facilitator, and a very efficient free throw shooter. He was a proven winner in college, but he needs to improve his shooting. Does that sound familiar? Mike Conley came into the league with the exact same qualities out of Ohio State along with a good defensive skill set.

Now that Nick Calathes is going back to Greece it is expected that Russ Smith will compete with Beno Udrih for the backup point guard spot. This could leave Harrison to scrap for a few minutes whenever he isn’t playing for the Energy like Smith did last year.

A full season as the starting point guard for the Energy could greatly benefit Harrison. If he can fine tune his good qualities, add an effective shooting stroke, and improve his defense, Harrison could be a positive asset for Memphis.

Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Andrew Harrison (5) drives to the basket against Wisconsin Badgers guard Josh Gasser (21) in the second half of the 2015 NCAA Men

Harrison didn’t do much to impress in the summer league, but one could say he was playing out of position the majority of the time he was on the court. He mainly played shooting guard because Russ Smith was managing the point. He even moved to small forward to play alongside Jordan Adams in certain situations.

Versatility is always good since he has great size, but it is hard to give a point guard a fair assessment if he isn’t playing his natural position. Also, the Grizzlies’ have a history of bailing on young players for lowly veterans before they are able to get their feet wet in the league. Those players tend to join other teams and perform well. For Example Hassan Whiteside, Tony Wroten, Demarre Carroll, Kyle Lowry, and Grevis Vasquez.

There were others like Josh Selby and Jamal Franklin who never got the chance to start. It would be bad for the team if that trend continues. The Grizzlies’ need to start building towards the future while maintaining a stable present. So when members of the core begin to move on, the Grizzlies’ can have young players who’ve been in the system for a while who will ready to take the reigns instead of starting over.

Conley has turned down the Grizzlies’ contract extension and is a free agent next summer. There isn’t much doubt that he would leave, but keeping Harrison at least gives them some insurance for a player with a similar skill set.

The Grizzlies’ current core won’t be around forever. An infusion of youth is desperately needed for this team to continue the success they have brought to the city. Harrison, along with Adams, Smith, and either Jarnell Stokes or Jarell Martin could give the Grizzlies the youth movement it needs for the future.