The Memphis Grizzlies were trying to land a point guard in NBA Free Agency this summer, but had been ultimately unsuccessful. Despite being in pursuit of both Mo Williams and Beno Udrih, both guards decided to sign elsewhere, leaving the Grizzlies out in the cold in terms of their need for a backup point guard to Mike Conley.
However, the Grizzlies have now made a signing that is likely to address that very need. On Friday afternoon, former University of Florida guard Nick Calathes announced on his Twitter account that he had agreed to a deal with the Grizzlies, a deal that was later reported as a two-year contract.
Calathes was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite the fact that he had announced in May of that year that he planned to play in Greece. After playing overseas since 2009, Calathes’ draft rights were traded to Memphis this summer and now they have signed him.
Last season while playing with Lokomotiv in the VTB United League in Russia last season, Calathes looked solid. In 30 games he averaged 13.9 points, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 4.3 rebound in 30.4 minutes per game. He also shot a solid 55.5 percent on two-point attempts, though he did only shoot 35.5 percent from long-range.
The biggest thing that Calathes brings to the table is his size at the point guard position. At 6’6”, Calathes is much longer and taller than most NBA point guards. That gives him advantages on both ends of the floor. Considering that with his solid skill level and he’s a good pickup by the Grizz.
However, the biggest reason Calathes is a great addition to Memphis is the fact that they desperately need a backup point guard. Mike Conley has solidified his role as a quality starter, but Tony Wroten and Jerryd Bayless aren’t exactly solid options as a backup guard. Calathes has an opportunity to come in and solidify that role. We shall see how is foray into the NBA with Memphis goes.