Grizzlies Desmond Bane would be an All-Star without his injury

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies have assembled one of the best rosters in the NBA despite having just one All-Star. Here is why they would have at least one more with better injury luck.

The Grizzlies are one of, if not the best, teams in the NBA this season despite some of their best players missing chunks of the season. Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr have missed a combined 36 games, and even Ja Morant has missed seven games. Even with all of their success this season, some NBA media and fans still hesitate to consider them true title contenders. Maybe it’s how young they still are. Or maybe it’s because of how many quality teams the NBA has this season.

One of the reasons I believe is contributing to the skepticism is the lack of a second All-Star level player. Ja Morant will be the only Grizzlies player to be selected for the All-Star game this year, and it’s not because any other players for Memphis are being snubbed. You could definitely make a case for Jackson Jr considering he is the current DPOY betting favorite. He wouldn’t be the first player to end up winning the award without being an All-Star, however, and his delayed start to the season doesn’t help. The player who I do think could have been a lock for the honor is Desmond Bane.

Grizzlies Bane is a unique star in the making

Prior to his toe injury earlier this season, Bane was averaging 24.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.9 rebounds on .465/.450/.912 shooting splits. That is easily an All-Star quality stat line. It was a small sample size, but nothing he was doing seemed like a fluke. He has been one of the most efficient three-point shooters in the league since being drafted in 2020, and increasing his volume hasn’t changed that. His combination of strength and shooting touch has made him an offensive force.

He was definitely a bit rusty when he returned from his injury, but he has been on fire since the beginning of January, shooting .509/.565/.778 on 16 shots per game. Another stat in his favor is the Grizzlies’ record with and without him. They are a staggering 19-5 with him and 12-8 without him. Their winning percentage with him would work out to a 65-17 season, which would easily be the best regular season in Grizzlies history.

Obviously, those wins can’t be attributed solely to Bane. But having a true secondary scorer next to Morant makes a world of difference. Nobody else on the roster is efficient enough to fill that role. He may not be selected as an All-Star, but make no mistake: he is a star in the making.