Quincy Pondexter Deserves Larger Role for Memphis Grizzlies Next Season

By Tony Ramsey

Although the Memphis Grizzlies were surprisingly swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the series wasn’t a total loss. Memphis discovered that reserve small forward Quincy Pondexter can potentially be a steady source of perimeter scoring, and for this reason he should be a larger part of their game plan for the 2013-2014 season.

Pondexter hasn’t really done much in his career since being drafted 26th overall in 2010 by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who immediately traded him to the then New Orleans Hornets. Pondexter was only in New Orleans for one season before again being dealt, this time to the Grizzlies for Greivis Vasquez, a trade that at the time seemed like more of an afterthought than anything else.

After being mostly irrelevant in 2012, Pondexter saw more playing time for Memphis following the Rudy Gay trade as Tayshaun Prince‘s primary backup, and showed a nice shooting stroke from three-point range that wasn’t evident in his college days at Washington or in his first two seasons in the league. For the regular season, Pondexter shot .395 from long range while averaging 6.4 points per game. Decent for a reserve, but nothing really worth noting.

Pondexter continued his hot shooting from distance in the postseason and was especially productive in the San Antonio series. The 6’6″ wing averaged 15.3 points and shot .480 from deep in the four games against the Spurs, and at times appeared to be one of the few Grizzlies players capable of making shots consistently from the outside.

Memphis has Pondexter under contract for one more season before a decision to keep him must be made. It would be wise to give Pondexter a much larger role next year, possibly even as the starter over Prince. Memphis is in desperate need of perimeter scoring, and Pondexter could be just the player to provide it for them on a consistent basis.

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