JaMychal Green: To Stay Or To Go

Apr 9, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green (0) shoots against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green (0) shoots against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

JaMychal Green will get paid this offseason, but postseason struggles may keep that from happening. Should he stay or go?

The unsung hero of the Grizzlies, JaMychal Green has been the defensive anchor, energizing the Grizzlies in wins, losses, and close games all season. Now, it’s time for him to get paid.

Green has grown to be the Grizzly that every fan forgets they need. He has taken on some of the toughest defensive assignments in his three seasons in Memphis, improving every year. His athleticism may seem underutilized, and quite frankly it is. He can be a stretch four but is confined to the paint, making up for the team’s lack of rebounding. The Grizzlies were last in contested rebounds this playoffs (also eighth lowest in rebounds per game during the regular season). This isn’t Green’s fault, but it does help outline the impact he brings to a game. He’ll be a free agent this offseason, and his postseason woes might keep him from getting the massive offer that’s expected.


JaMychal Green’s offense is limited. Why? I’m not entirely sure.

Green can hit threes, and his jump-shot isn’t horrid for someone who spends most of their time within five feet of the rim. He might be playing into his role, but it doesn’t maximize Green’s potential. He can score from the outside, but seeing how he doesn’t shoot more than one or two threes a game, the ones he miss sting a little harder and leave a “bad 3-point shooter” taste in your mouth. Realistically, he can shoot free throws and hit from the mid-range, but if he doesn’t get the chance to consistently shoot from deep in games, he’ll never get better.

The Grizzlies use Green as a rebounding defender, but a more impactful role can raise his stock. I’m not saying he’ll immediately turn into deep threat if given the opportunity, but he could try to generate offense can open up new lanes for him as a player. For example, in his 29-point outing, he proved he can score. He has the athleticism to be a force and wreak havoc in the paint, but he’s not playing to those strengths in Memphis. If he can develop into a post scorer, learning to find a consistent turnaround or running hook, Green can turn from a streaky scorer to a consistent post-presence that fits the Grizzly mold.

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What can you really say about his defense. His defensive rating is decent, and his athleticism helps him stay with any matchup. But, does his defense make up for his seeming lack of offense? There’s only so much defense can do in basketball, and Green is on the cusp of producing defensively what he lacks on offense.

Ultimately, getting the ball isn’t his decision, and he’s playing the role he’s given. The only question about Green’s future is whether his role is the correct fit or not. It seems silly to assume there’s no better option out there that might come at a cheaper price. Especially with Deyonta Davis waiting for his chance, it might be the time to sell on Green. Davis is still underdeveloped, but experience will do more to help than hurt.

Final Verdict

The Grizzlies can find a cheaper power forward option, assuming Green gets at least one hefty contract. Seeing how JaMychal is the lowest paid Grizzly, with a contract barely scraping above $1 million, he should be paid more. Compared to other Grizzlies that were in the D-League for majority of the season, it only seems to right to let him get rightfully paid.

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He has had a good stint with the Grizzlies thus far. They maximized his potential in their offensive schemes, but he might not fit the slow pace Memphis runs. If the Grizzlies decide to start adding a quicker pace to their offense, Green should stay to continue developing in his starting role. If the Grizzlies can find a way to utilize his untapped athleticism, Green should have no problem with his role in Memphis. This is all assuming JaMychal Green doesn’t like money.