The Memphis Grizzlies have claimed Beno Udrih off of waivers according to Marc Stein of ESPN. The 31-year-old point guard was a target of the Grizzlies this offseason, before Udrih decided to sign with the New York Knicks. The Grizzlies are in need of another ball-handler to go along with starter Mike Conley and rookie Nick Calathes. The two have been a pretty good duo in the backcourt for the past two months, but with no other point guard options on the team, Memphis needed insurance in case of an injury to Calathes — not so much Conley, because if he goes down its season is over anyway.
Udrih is in his 10th season in the NBA. It is a career that has now carried him to his sixth different destination. He has been a solid backup point guard throughout his career, and even done well as a starter from time to time. Udrih has career averages of 23.3 minutes per game, 8.9 points per game, 3.5 assists per game and most importantly for the Grizzlies, he is a 35.5 percent three-point shooter.
Memphis has been trying to fill its void of three-point shooters all season long; first it was Mike Miller, then Courtney Lee and now Udrih. He isn’t known as much of a shooter as Miller or Lee, but Udrih does have to be respected from the outside. Even with Udrih the Grizzlies will never be confused with a three-point gunning team like the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors, but the addition of Udrih will cause defenses to be more cautious when they try to double-team Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph.
The signing of Udrih isn’t going to be a signing that pushes the Grizzlies in to title contention, but it could be the difference in making the playoffs, or being on the outside looking in, and at this point in the season that is a gamble worth taking.