When the Memphis Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay, their leading scorer, midway through the 2012-2013 NBA season, they made a couple of things very clear. The first thing that the deal showed was that they were confident in their team going forward. The second thing it showed was that they were incredibly conscious of the salary cap and wanted to save salary however they could.
Both of those things were also very evident when the Grizzlies selected Latvian small forward Janis Timma in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Though Timma has some potential as a prospect, he just turned 21 and will likely be staying overseas for at least next season and continue to work on his game.
Not only is Timma staying in Europe a good thing for Memphis in regards to their financial situation, but it’s also good because, after spending the week in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League, it’s pretty clear that Timma still has a long way to go before he’s ready for the NBA.
Timma played in all six of the Grizzlies games, though he saw the floor for only 13.8 minutes per game. In that limited role, though, he failed to make much of an impact as he averaged just 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting just 20.8 percent from the field and only 11.1 percent from long-range.
When watching Timma, there’s no way you can disregard the raw tools and athleticism that he has, but it’s also pretty clear that he’s unpolished for the NBA game. He needs to get a bit stronger to help him on both ends of the floor, really needs to work on his shot, and needs to become a sounder ball-handler. It’s a good thing for Timma and the Grizzlies that he can head back to Europe after leaving Vegas and continue to develop his game.