With the Memphis Grizzlies set to kick off their Summer League season here in Las Vegas this evening, 3 Shades of Blue takes a look at the expected roster. Assistant Coach Bob Thornton will man the bench for the squad, which will be comprised of the following.
Tony Wroten: PG, 6’6, 208, 20 years old, Washington
2012-13 Stats (per 36 min): 12.0 points, 5.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 9.34 PER
Wroten showed a great deal of promise in limited time last season, but at the same time provided even more cause for hesitation. At times, he proved to be a spark plug and dazzled the crowd with his passing ability, but other moments were absolutely cringe-worthy. His lack of a reliable jump shot allowed defenses to sag uncomfortably far off him, and he appeared hesitant to adapt to the way they played him, looking to take the ball to the basket regardless. Looking ahead, plenty of emphasis will be placed on his ability to shoot the ball, in just about every possible way — three-pointers, free-throws, pull-ups, floaters. He would stand to benefit by slowing it down just a notch and allowing the game to come to him.
Jon Leuer: PF, 6’10, 228, 24 years old, Wisconson
2012-13 Stats (per 36 min): 10.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 48% fg, 10.46 PER
When the front office traded the contracts of Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, and Josh Selby off to Cleveland in exchange for Leuer, they insisted that he was targeted in the deal and not a mere consequence of having to take something back in return. They certainly backed that claim up this summer when they re-signed him to a multi year deal. Leuer did not play much for the Grizzlies last season, but he was effective in the spurts in which he did. His year-end totals were not very impressive, but judging by his time with the Grizz alone, he performed pretty effectively. Looking at his time spent in Memphis exclusively, his per-36 numbers jump to 12.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, and his PER balloons to 17.2. Leuer’s potential as a pick-and-pop floor spacing big could make him a big value signing going forward.
Donte Greene: SF, 6’11, 226, 25 years old, Syracuse
2011-12 Stats (per 36 min): 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 11.85 PER
Greene was added to the roster just prior to the playoffs, but never ended up setting foot on the floor in a Grizzlies jersey. He is currently under contract for the next two seasons, but he is going to have to earn his way onto the roster, as both seasons are fully unguaranteed according to ShamSports. Green has a reputation as a big, long shooter, but over the course of his NBA career, he was only able to shoot 30.4% from three. It seems like Greene has been around forever, but he is only 25 years old, so he may not be a finished product just yet.
Willie Reed: PF, 6’9, 220, 23 years old, St. Louis
2012-13 Stats (per 36 min): 18.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 20.3 PER
The stats that I have listed for Reed make him look like some sort of animal, but they should be taken with a grain of salt as they’re from his stint with the Springfield Armor of the D-League. Reed is in the same boat as Greene, in the sense that his contract is unguaranteed over the next two years. His reputation is as an explosive athlete that will use his physical tools to rebound the heck out of the ball, which is always welcomed in the league. With a crowded rotation projected ahead of him in the Grizzlies’ paint picture, and pressing needs elsewhere, he has a lot of work ahead of him, but some extra athleticism could never hurt the back-end of your front-line.
Jamaal Franklin: SG, 6’5, 191, 21 years old, San Diego State
Franklin has been hobbled through the draft process thanks to a badly sprained ankle, but it is believed that he will play in this summer showcase. Franklin has endearingly been dubbed the “Grindson” by Grizzlies brass, for his on-court likeness to Tony Allen. A tenacious defensive player with some question marks on the offensive end seems to be what we can expect out of Franklin from the early going. I look for him to be a nightmare on the glass from the early going, as he pulled down 9.4 boards a game in his most recent season at San Diego State.
Janis Timma: SF, 6’7, 226, 21 years old, Ventspils (Latvia)
Timma comes onto the scene as possibly the greatest unknown for the Grizzlies. He was chosen with the 60th and final overall selection, after working out for Stu Lash on the Monday prior to the draft. He is known as having an ability to shoot the ball well, and has a strong athletic frame. Judging by his Twitter account, he appears enthusiastic about coming over to the States, but it remains to be seen if he is ready for the big leagues.
– Matt Howard: PF, 6’8, 225, 24 years old, Butler
– Vander Blue: SG, 6’5, 197, 20 years old, Marquette
– Laurence Bowers: PF, 6’8, 205, 23 years old, Missouri
– Darington Hobson: SF, 6’6, 204, 25 years old, New Mexico
– Jack Cooley: C, 6’9, 244, 22 years old, Notre Dame
– Gerald Robinson: PG, 6’1, 177, 24 years old, Georgia
Game 1 info:
Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Chicago Bulls
When: Saturday, July 13th, 7:00 PM CST
Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
Watch: NBA TV
Stay tuned on Twitter @StevieDanziger for live updates of Grizzlies Summer League action.