Grizzlies coach ‘super excited’ about development of promising youngster

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Memphis Grizzlies are a team set to contend for a title in 2023-24 and what makes this all the more astonishing is the fact that they sport one of the younger rosters compared to the rest of the association as they held an average age of 24.5 just last season.

With guys like Ja Morant (24), Jaren Jackson Jr. (23), and Desmond Bane (25) headlining the club’s current crop of ballers, the kind of high-upside talent Taylor Jenkins has at his disposal is truly exhilarating considering their youthfulness, and, just recently, the headman was found talking up another green Grizzlies prospect in David Roddy as he comes into his sophomore campaign.

“[I’m] super excited about the summer for D-Rod. He showed us a lot his rookie season,” Jenkins said in a recently released video by the Grizzlies entitled Beyond Grit. “Just attacks with an amazing work ethic, learned the game, got a lot of opportunities, especially middle-to-late into the season and now this is an opportunity for him to really say ‘what did I learn my entire rookie season’ and then focus on this summer development opportunity.”

Jenkins would continue on to hype up the 22-year-old’s on-court skill set and discussed how the goal for the Grizzlies coaching staff is to try and translate Roddy’s versatility and stupendous athleticism into its fullest potential.

“For me, he’s a versatile player. Offensively, can he play on the wing? Can he play the three or four positions,” Jenkins said. “Defensively, can we get him to grow in a lot of different areas where he’s guarding a lot of different actions? Can he guard one through five? Can we challenge him to take on those matchups? This summer, now’s a great test to take this opportunity in Summer League, grow with it and then get ready for a great second season.”

As noted by Jenkins, Roddy seemed to truly show out during the latter stages of the 2022-23 campaign, and his per-game numbers certainly highlight this shift as he went on to post averages of 8.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while cashing in on 36.4 percent of his long-range attempts from March 11 through April 9’s regular season finale.

On top of this, during this stretch, he would also rank seventh in offensive rating (116.1) and sixth in net rating (2.0) on the team out of those who played 600 or more minutes on the year.

With this strong finish to his rookie season, coupled with an impressive Summer League showing (13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists on 47.6 percent shooting) the hope now is that Roddy can build off his flashes of potentially becoming a consistent positive contributor within the Grizzlies’ rotation and actually mold into one in year two.

Jenkins is excited about the second-year forward. Grizzlies fans should be too.