The Memphis Grizzlies are in good hands at the point guard spot once Mike Conley is gone. Delon Wright and Jevon Carter have shown they are capable of stepping up at least for the short term.
Mike Conley has been the starting point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies for the past decade. If they do decide to move on from him this summer they shouldn’t feel the need to acquire somebody new. Delon Wright and Jevon Carter are capable of handling the point guard role at least through next season.
Wright spent the first few seasons of his career with the Toronto Raptors. In 172 games with the team, he averaged 6.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He has shown he is a very good backup in this league and maybe we’ll see if he can ever become a starter in the future. So far through his first nine games in Memphis, he is averaging 9.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
Carter has had an up and down rookie season spending time in the G-League with the Memphis Hustle but when he has been given a chance he has shown off his defensive toughness and ability. Through his first 28 games, he is averaging just 3.3 points, 1.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting just 27% from the field as well as 27% from three-point range. That is a legitimate concern and something he needs to improve on if he wants to find a role in this league.
Neither of these two appears to be future stars in this league but that shouldn’t be what this team is targeting at the moment. This team isn’t going to be competing for an NBA championship or likely even a playoff appearance any time soon. After you get rid of Conley you just need somebody who can keep this team afloat as they continue to build a team filled with young talent.
Of course, you would prefer a young stud at the point guard position in a trade for Conley but that just isn’t likely. Another possibility is them drafting one this summer but that too isn’t extremely likely. The point guard class is relatively weak as it’s headliner, Darius Garland played in just five games due to a meniscus injury in his left knee.
Grizzlies fans would be ecstatic if Jevon Carter is in Memphis long-term. He has already established himself as a fan favorite just as he did during his time at West Virginia. His ability to defend at a high level makes him an intriguing prospect going forward.
While he has struggled on the offensive end he has shown flashes of being able to contribute on that end. In a recent blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks, he finished with a career-high 15 points on 5-8 shooting, including 4-6 from three-point range. In the 12 games, he played in prior to that he made fewer three-pointers than that as he went just 3-19 during that span.
That is an area he has struggled in but he showed during college and even in the G-League that he can be much better than that. It is going to take time for him to develop a consistent three-point shot in the NBA but we all need to just give him time because it will come.
Delon Wright is the better player out of these two and he has already shown that in his short time with the team. He has played more than 22 minutes and all nine games and has even started a couple that Conley has sat out.
His ability to play alongside Conley has been big but his ability to run the offense without him is key. The Grizzlies need to be able to keep Conley healthy the rest of the season. Sure they want him healthy for this summer when they explore potential trades but it’s more than that.
He is a very good player and he still should have at least a few years in this league where he is a top point guard. Being able to manage his health is key for his future and if he is back in Memphis they want him fully healthy and ready to go to start next season.
Wright had a big game in a recent loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He battled Russell Westbrook for much of the game and he was effective on both ends of the floor.
In the final couple of minutes in the game he lost the battle but he put up a very impressive performance and the Grizzlies coaching staff and front office definitely took note of that. Who knows if the Grizzlies will give him a chance to be the starting point guard after Conley but with how he has played we can fully expect him to be back in Memphis next season despite his impending free agency.