Memphis Grizzlies made the right choice regarding Nick Calathes or Tony Wroten at backup PG

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers come to visit the Grizzlies in Memphis tonight; sounds like a great time to look at the recent storyline on the Grizzlies backup PG situation.

Rob Mahoney at NBA.SI.com is giving out his alternative awards for the NBA season, and 2012 Memphis Grizzlies first round draft pick Tony Wroten winds up as the headlining award known as "Most Valuable Tanker." The qualifications for this award are obviously not a set of characteristics that you'd want any player on your team to possess let alone your backup point guard who needs to play significant minutes and operate half court sets.

Here are Mahoney's primary credentials to consider for Wroten:

  • Wroten has the absolute worst turnover rate in the league for a player of his usage.
  • Wroten has been the single worst three-point shooter in the league this season, and is having one of the worst three-point shooting seasons of all time.
  • Wroten's effective field goal percentage is fourth-worst in the league among players of similar minutes and usage.
  • On top of it all, the abjectly horrible Sixers have been 3.4 points worse per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

Anyone want to imagine what that would look like on our roster this season? Remember those 7 games Mike Conley missed where we went 4-3? Probably not happening with TWrote at the helm. And when you muse over Calathes stats now, at the end of the season, he's got the highest Assist Ratio on the Grizzlies, has an effective FG percentage of 49.2%, including 31% from three, and the 3rd best Assist/Turnover ratio for the Grizzlies.

Is anyone still feeling jealous of those triple/doubles Wroten was accumulating early in the season? He's all but regressed this season (though some of his stats are inflated with his playing time) and we've watched Nick Calathes transform from a timid over-dribbler into a legitimate ball-wizard who can knock down shots and slash to the rim. Speaking of rim skills, Mahoney also had this Wroten-gem in his article that I'll now leave you with:

He excels at getting to the rim but seems clueless once he arrives there - a tendency that may well feed his admirable free throw rate by way of mutual confusion between Wroten and his defender.

Tony Wroten still has plenty of time left in his NBA career to develop his weakness and fully utilize his athleticism, but for the 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies, a team that now has me nail biting in the final week of the regular season, I don't think there's any way to argue against Nick Calathes being the better option.

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