The Grizzlies quietly have one of the best trios in the entire league

Desmond Bane, Memphis Grzizlies Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grzizlies Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

The Memphis Grizzlies have had an odd year. After a slew of trades in the offseason, anything could have happened this year. A new starter was in the mix, while Dillon Brooks was sidelined for the first couple of weeks of the season.

All of these changes have landed the Grizzlies at 9-8 on the year. Memphis now has wins against three of the best teams in the league and losses against three of the worst teams in the league — this team has given us an extremely mixed bag.

But lately, Memphis proved that their ceiling is extremely high, knocking down a strong Utah Jazz squad thanks to last-second heroics by Jaren Jackson Jr.

This Memphis Grizzlies trio has emerged as one of the best in team history

When we’re talking about Grizzlies trios, a few names would have come to mind a season ago. You’d almost always include Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., but who is the third?

For a good portion of the season, Dillon Brooks looked like that player. Heck, even Jonas Valanciunas could have a say in that with elite offense. He’s gone now and Brooks hasn’t hit his form quite yet, which leaves one player as the third of the Grizzlies’ trio.

Desmond Bane.

Bane is only in his second season in the NBA but has already become one of the best young players in the league. Sure, Bane is averaging fewer points than Brooks, but he’s doing it much more efficiently than the Grizz vet. Here’s what he did alongside the Grizzlies’ primary two stars against the Jazz according to Grizzlies PR on Twitter.

Granted, nobody was thinking about this statistic before Monday night — still, if someone had asked, you wouldn’t have guessed Bane to be on that list. But that’s how far he has elevated his game thus far.

Bane isn’t just a strong player for this team, either — he’s quickly becoming a big-time candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. While his 6.4 PPG jump doesn’t seem astronomical, his true impact on this team cannot be measured on the stat sheet.

Could Bane be overtaking Dillon Brooks as this team’s third option?

As things stand, Brooks still has a bigger defensive impact and is more active in the team’s offense. To take it a step further, the Grizzly wing is having a career year shooting the ball, knocking down 44.4% of his long-range shots this year.

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That said, Bane is improving at a jarring rate. The question may not be whether or not Memphis has one of the best trios in the league. Rather, we may need to start asking if they have one of the best four-man punches in the NBA.