The Memphis Grizzlies have some of the best young talent of any NBA team. It starts with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., but doesn’t end there by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, this team’s depth might actually be the more impressive area of the team. After signing shooting guard De’Anthony Melton to a four-year deal in the offseason, the two-guard spot on this team seemed pretty cut-and-dried.
The Grizzlies did this, however, after acquiring Desmond Bane with the last pick of the first round in the 2021 NBA Draft.
All things considered, the Grizzlies didn’t look like they had any more space for a shooting guard. Grayson Allen was the starter, Melton was a potential 6th man, and Bane was likely to ride the bench for most of his first year.
But the Grizzlies front office and Taylor Jenkins may have been a step ahead. In fact, Desmond Bane has arguably been the best pure two-guard on this team so far.
Bleacher Report gave Memphis Grizzlies rookie Desmond Bane a B+ for his rookie season
Out of the top ten rookies chosen, Desmond Bane was in the middle of the pack with a B+. Logically, this would mean that he’s easily a top ten rookie, possibly even better.
The reasoning used in the Bleacher Report article by Jonathan Wasserman is as follows:
“The last pick of the first round leads all rookies in three-point percentage. Desmond Bane has given the Memphis Grizzlies consistent shooting and an efficient off-ball scorer.”
The article mentions his shooting, which is something that has been huge for a Memphis Grizzlies team that has been below-average at shooting the rock from long range. Without Jaren Jackson Jr., their 3-point shooting numbers have taken a nose dive in 2021.
Bane has been able to keep that stable. In fact, it’s impossible to attribute this to Bane himself, but Melton’s 3-point numbers have shot up along with Bane’s addition to this team. Perhaps the 30th overall pick has taken some stress off of Mr. Do Something’s shoulders, allowing him to get into a better rhythm from 3-point land.
Hopefully, Bane can continue his B+ season through to the NBA Playoffs, where the Grizzlies will look to make an appearance for the first time since 2017.