It is not always easy to find quality depth in the post, especially to find such gritty and tough players who have a knack for playing tough defense and crashing the boards on every single possession.
Enter Jarnell Stokes, the Memphis Grizzlies‘ second-round draft pick.
Stokes showed off why he was considered a first-round draft pick by many scouts and executives around the league in the NBA Summer League. Stokes has a nose for the basketball on the glass. Stokes can really pile up the rebounds on both ends of the floor, and when he gets the offensive rebound, he has a knack for being able to finish on the put back, which can really do wonders for an offense that struggles to score a lot of points from outside shots.
Stokes is a long athlete who runs the floor and plays hard every single chance he gets, which fits the Grizzlies extremely well because that is one thing the team prides itself on every game. The Grizzlies are tough, and they play hard and give it their all every play, whether they are up by 20 or down by 20. Stokes will fit right in with the team’s culture, and should prove himself to be a quality back-up in the post behind big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Stokes is a great compliment to both of those players on the court as well, as he can help mask Randolph’s defensive shortcomings and be the force down low to allow Gasol to play more from the high post and run things that way, be it distributing for his teammates or creating a look for himself from the mid-range.
Stokes gives the Grizzlies a quality backup big man, and that was important to find given Ed Davis‘ departure in free agency. The Grizzlies would be wise to throw him into the fire as soon as possible so he can continue learning in the hope that he could be a force for the team come postseason time. The Grizzlies got a great post player in Stokes, and the league will regret passing on him in due time.