Grizzlies wing tabbed as player who 'needs more respect'

Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The Memphis Grizzlies may be amid one of their more lowly campaigns in quite some time, boasting a putrid record of 20-38 with just 24 games remaining on the docket, but this is not to say that the team has been void of bright spots throughout the year.

Quite the opposite, in fact, as Taylor Jenkins' squad has seen a number of positive storylines emerge from this rather bleak season, with the most noteworthy being their successes in the player development department.

Due to the club's slew of injuries, Memphis has frequently been forced to call up a number of their G League talents to log minutes with the varsity team and, on a few occasions, to simply help them reach to quota for the league's minimum number of active players on a roster.

Along the way, the Grizzlies have seen several of these developmental talents break onto the scene with these opportunities and, in some instances, even earn themselves long-term stays with the organization.

Perhaps their most recognizable success story to date is 2022's second-round pick Vince Williams Jr., a player who spent the majority of his time with the franchise revolving in and out of the rotation with the Memphis Hustle before, ultimately, playing his way into a standard, multi-year pact with Memphis this past January.

On top of earning an upgraded payday, with his play the wing also went on to receive a nod in this year's Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend though, in the eyes of Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes, these accomplishments aren't necessarily giving him enough credit for his production, as he argues Williams deserves "more respect."

Grizzlies wing Vince Williams Jr. 'needs more respect' across the league

"The first subject in any introductory course on Williams is this: The man can guard. Capable of staying in front of the league's most dangerous ball-handlers for inordinate amounts of time, Williams can also throw a wrench in the offensive works away from the rock. He's second among Grizzlies in deflections.

On the other end, Williams' rapid development as a playmaker warrants notice. He tallied at least five assists in each of his last six games leading into the All-Star break after reaching that total only four times in his first 38 appearances."

Grant Hughes

Since becoming a full-time starter within the rotation for the Grizzlies back in early January, Williams Jr. has established himself as a lethal two-way wing in coach Jenkins' scheme and finds himself posting impressive averages of 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and half a block while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep through a 20 game span.

Already drawing comparisons to franchise legend Tony Allen, from his newly inked financial commitment to the sheer love he's received from both cohorts and the coaching staff, it's safe to say that the 23-year-old is viewed as a player who will serve as a consistent rotational commodity in Memphis for many years to come.

While the franchise's faithful followers may be aware of this, Hughes seems to think that others outside of the fandom should take notice as well.