Memphis Grizzlies: What Role Will Brandon Clarke Play With the Team This Season?

Brandon Clarke Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospect (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Brandon Clarke Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospect (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Which lineups and positions will Brandon Clarke fit into best with the team as he starts in his rookie season for the Memphis Grizzlies?

Fresh off his 2019 NBA Summer League MVP performance in Las Vegas, Memphis Grizzlies rookie Brandon Clarke is ready to make an impact on basketball’s biggest stage.

While it’s clear that Clarke will be given the opportunity to play meaningful minutes during his rookie campaign, it’s a little more unclear at which positions and with which units he will be playing those minutes.

First, let’s assess Clarke’s strengths and weaknesses.

He shoots a very high percentage from the floor (64 percent in college, 53 percent during the summer league), and he scores most of his points from within eight feet of the rim.

He’s also incredibly athletic, with a standing vertical leap of 34 inches and a maximum vertical leap of 40.5 inches, which he frequently utilized in college to wipe opposing players off the face of the earth with rim-rocking putback dunks. He’s got a high basketball IQ, and by the look of things, he loves playing defense.

However, Clarke played most of his college ball at the power forward position, which is tough to do in the NBA when you’re only 6-8 and 215 pounds. Although he shot 56 percent from the 3-point line in the NBA Summer League (5 for 9), Clarke was a career 25 percent 3-point shooter in college, which lead to some concerns about his ability to spread the floor in a league that has increasingly required big men to develop a shot from distance.

Despite his weaknesses, Clarke’s ceiling is sky-high, and he’s already shown that many of his skills on display in college will translate at a higher level.

Clarke is an intriguing asset that new Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins will be able to plug into a variety of lineups and situations. Here are some on-court scenarios in which Clarke will likely find himself come October.