With the 41st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies got solid value as they were able to nab Jamaal Franklin. Franklin had a productive college career while at San Diego State and was an absolute steal for the Grizzlies to get him in the second round, much less almost midway through it.
Much to the disappointment of the Grizzlies and their fans, though, Franklin was unable to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League due to several minor injuries that popped up. It would have been nice to see how he was coached by Memphis’ staff and to see what they want him to do in the upcoming season.
In his last college season with the Aztecs, Franklin was productive in a lot of ways, especially for a guard. He played 33.1 minutes per game and finished the year averaging 17 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. He only shot 41.3 percent from the floor, but that’s largely due to how much he was relied upon to carry his team.
Franklin has a good deal of athleticism and is a smart player when he’s on the floor. He has the potential to be an offensive threat if he can develop his movement off of the ball and could be a defensive threat as well, especially with this Grizzlies team. However, he’s going to need a season or two to get comfortable and develop into that role.
Luckily for him and Memphis, though, the team has the luxury of moving Franklin along at whatever pace they desire. With Quincy Pondexter, Jerryd Bayless and Mike Miller coming off of the bench at the wing, there’s no necessity to rush Franklin before he’s ready, meaning he should have the opportunity to be eased into the unfamiliar NBA style of play. With a player that has his tools, but that needs refinement, that’s a great place for both him and the Grizz to be.