The Memphis Grizzlies weren’t incredibly active this summer in NBA Free Agency, but arguably their biggest move was to sign sharpshooting wing Mike Miller. Though the Grizzlies were one of the top defensive teams in the league last season, their offense sputtered at times, largely because they ranked near the bottom of the league in three-point shooting, an issue Miller can help solve.
However, the Grizzlies are also looking to solidify their offensive issues by having players already in-house grow under new head coach David Joerger. One such player is five-year veteran guard Jerryd Bayless.
In his first season with Memphis last year, Bayless averaged 8.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 22.1 minutes per game while shooting only 41.9 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from long-distance. For a guard whose primary value is derived from his offensive abilities, though he did play decent defense last season, Bayless missed the bar with the Grizzlies last season.
Bayless averaged only 0.86 points per possession offensively last season, ranking just 298th in the league. Moreover, Bayless struggled in the pick-and-roll, coming up with only 0.71 points per possession out of such sets. However, he did show promise as a spot-up shooter, shooting 38.7 percent from three when spotted up.
With the arrival of Nick Calathes this season, Bayless should have to assume less of the ball-handling duties as a reserve, which should mean more spot-up opportunities. If that happens, Bayless could become a much more effective player for the Grizzlies.
Bayless becoming more effective is something Memphis needs if they intend to stay competing at the top of the Western Conference. There are more pieces in place now with the Grizzlies that should give Bayless the chance to have more success. If he’s able to take on a role primarily as a spot-up shooter, that might just happen.
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