Taylor Jenkins dishes honest take on Wenyen Gabriel's debut with Grizzlies

Atlanta Hawks v Memphis Grizzlies
Atlanta Hawks v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Ahead of Friday's matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, it was reported that the Memphis Grizzlies had agreed to terms on a 10-day contract with fifth-year big man, Wenyen Gabriel.

Despite having zero chemistry with players and no true understanding of how Taylor Jenkins' scheme works, during the contest the 26-year-old still went on to see 13 minutes of action and, surprisingly, was quite productive as he finished the night off with 2 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, and a steal while registering in at +6, the second best plus-minus on the team.

Showcasing an impressive combination of athleticism and surprise finesse (that spin and dish dime to Trey Jemison in the second was certainly fun to watch), Gabriel managed to leave a positive impression with his play, and, during his post-game presser, coach Jenkins discussed his thoughts on the big's debut.

Taylor Jenkins dishes on Wenyen Gabriel's debut with Grizzlies

"He was running the floor like we expected, playing hard, moving without the ball. Trying to get to that next action, pick-and-roll stuff is something that he's got to get comfortable with... but then defensively using his length, activity, battling for fifty-fifty balls... Overall that motor that we love about him, it was on display tonight and he'll just keep getting more comfortable day after day."

Taylor Jenkins

Throughout his several years in the association, Gabriel has managed to grab the attention and intrigue of numerous teams due to his astounding length (6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan) coupled with his impressive burst and athleticism, though has spent the majority of his professional career logging minutes in the G League.

Last he saw NBA action was during the 2022-23 season while serving as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Through 68 games played, he found himself posting averages of 5.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and half a block while shooting 59.6 percent from the floor and 27.8 percent shooting from deep.

Now, with nine more days remaining on his pact with the Grizzlies, Gabriel will likely be looking to show out within the club's injury ravaged rotation and, with five games coming during his current deal, he'll likely come across ample opportunities to do so.

From the jump, it appears coach Jenkins is pleased with what he saw. Now, let's see if the big can continue to progress as he gains more familiarity.