When the Grizzlies landed Desmond Bane on draft night 2020, they expected to add a well-rounded guard who could be a complement in the backcourt next to Ja Morant. However, it appears he has the potential to be much more than that.
After a solid rookie campaign, Bane’s game has taken off. He averaged just under 19 points per game last season and is off to an impressive start in year three.
Through six games, the 24-year-old is averaging 24.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 5.2 APG. On top of that, he’s shooting 44.6% from beyond the arc on an incredible 9.3 attempts per game.
The young guard came into the league a more complete prospect, but he’s still managed to make improvements to his game. One area in particular that has seen big strides is his ballhandling.
In the past, Bane wasn’t much of a threat to put the ball on the floor and create. Now, he is knocking down shots off the dribble with efficiency and confidence. Chris Vernon recently applauded him for the massive change.
“If you went back and looked at him his rookie year versus right now, and I’m just talking on the handles front, it is such a drastic improvement. It looks so smooth,” said Vernon.
Desmond Bane is becoming an even bigger threat in the Grizzlies’ offense
With the leap he’s taken, it’s fair to say that Desmond Bane is approaching All-Star-level status. The question is always asked on who will be Ja Morant’s running mate for the future, and the Grizzlies might have found a legit second option behind their star point guard.
Bane was always a good complement to Morant, and he continues to become a better one. Along with being a knockdown shooter, this new development in his game could do wonders later in the year.
In today’s NBA, having multiple threats who can put the ball on the floor and create is essential. Outside of Morant, Memphis is quite thin in this area. He might be able to get them through the regular season, but it could become problematic in the postseason.
If Bane can continue to improve his ballhandling, the Grizzlies should have all the perimeter shot creation they need. This hot start from the backcourt is just another reason why the two belong in the conversation for the league’s best backcourt duo.