Grading the 2013-2014 Memphis Grizzlies: Jamaal Franklin, G

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Grind Son is delivered to Grizz Nation. Now. we all must await patiently for his impact.

"With the 41st pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select, Jamaal Franklin from San Diego State University". Adam Silver, then deputy commissioner of the NBA, introduced the newest member of the Memphis Grizzlies on June 27, 2013. SB Nation had Jamaal Franklin rated as the 16th best draft prospect, so it was viewed as an absolute steal to have him still sitting there with the 11th pick of the second round.

It did not take long for Grizzly guard Tony Allen, nicknamed the 'Grind Father', to nickname Jamaal Franklin the 'Grind Son' due to their similar, defensive-minded styles of play. If you look back at their college careers, Tony and Jamaal's are shockingly similar. Jamaal Franklin won the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year his final season in college while averaging 16.9 points, 9.5 rebound, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, and shooting 27.2% from the 3-point line. Tony Allen won Big 12 Conference Player of the Year his final season in college while averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and shooting 29.7% from the 3-point line. See what I mean? Pretty astonishing.

Jamaal Franklin's rookie season in the bluff city was not an overly eventful one. The former Aztec swingman appeared in just 21 games for the Memphis Grizzlies. During the times in which he played, Franklin looked, well, like a rookie for the most part. He seemed timid to shoot the ball, lost in offensive sets, and often out of position on the defensive end. However, it is difficult to get an accurate read on Jamaal's season when he was used, for lack of a better term, as a human victory cigar. When Jamaal Franklin entered the game, it was clear that one of three scenarios had played out: 1. The Grizzlies were blowing out their opponent; 2. The Grizzlies were being blown out by their opponent; or 3. An injury had occurred and one of the regular players needed a break.

Now, this is not the rookie's fault. He was playing behind guys like Tony Allen, Courtney Lee, Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, and James Johnson on the wing. It's tough for any rookie, let alone a 2nd round pick, to break into that kind of rotation.

Because of this, Jamaal Franklin was sent down to the D-League to play with the Fort Wayne Mud Ants. During his time with the Mud Ants, Jamaal averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.75 steals, and shot 37% from 3-point range while playing in 16 games.

Coming out of college, Jamaal Franklin was viewed as a do everything type of player, not unlike his former teammate and current San Antonio Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard. If you're familiar with the baseball term '5 tool player', Jamaal Franklin was essentially viewed as the basketball version of a 5 tool player. Except for one aspect of his game. The one aspect the haunted the Grizzlies during the 2012-2013 season. Shooting.

His last season at San Diego State, Jamaal Franklin shot just measly 27.2% from 3-point. So, the fact the rookie swingman was able to shoot so well in the D-League was a pleasant surprise too all. In fact, if you combine his D-League and NBA 3-point attempts, it comes out to 38.2% which would have been good enough for 3rd best on the team, behind only Jon Leuer and Mike Miller.

Future Outlook:

Jamaal Franklin's role next season will be determined by what happens this offseason. Mike Miller is a free agent, and Quincy Pondexter and Courtney Lee have been thrown around in trade rumors. There could be room for him to jump in the rotation if the offseason cards fall in his favor.However, it seems likely that the second year guard could end up being the odd man out again. There is no doubting the talent that is there with this guy to one day be the starting shooting guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, and in today's 'I gotta have it now' world, it is difficult to be patient for anything. But we all must be patient with Jamaal Franklin. His time will come. Do not be surprised if he spends time next season with the newly acquired Iowa Energy of the D-League, so he can continue get minutes instead of being buried on the bench in Memphis.

Category Grades

Offense: B

Defense: C+

Intangibles: B-

Final Grade: B-

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