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Memphis Grizzlies 2014-2015 Player Reviews: Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince ended his tenure as a Memphis Grizzly this season back in January, during which he was traded to the Boston Celtics before landing back in Detroit. How did Prince fare in his 26 games at Memphis?

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Tayshaun Prince finally said farewell to Memphis this season, but he played for a small chunk before being traded in the Jeff Green deal. On the season, he averaged 7.3 points, 1.4 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. In his short time with the Grizzlies this season, his role was quickly reduced as he was moved to the bench and played limited minutes. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to contribute enough to make himself invaluable to the team. Ever since arriving in Memphis during the 2012-13 season,  fans have criticized his lack of shooting. But in fact, he shot 45.5% from three (while shooting only 1.3 of them per game) this season with the Grizzlies, and he shot 83.3% from the free throw line (while only averaging 1.1 attempts per game). He still did not possess the shooting talent the Grizzlies needed, however, and shot only 41% from the field.

With the Grizzlies this season, Prince had an awful defensive rating of 107, while he had a solid offensive rating of 104 per 100 possessions. He only started 9 games this season as Coach Dave Joerger reinstated the starting lineup with Courtney Lee and Tony Allen. His inability to spread the floor for the Grizzlies hindered the team as Memphis desperately needed more offensive weapons.

The trade for Jeff Green, which Prince was involved in, has not turned out as some had hoped. Did Memphis receive a better upgrade over Tayshaun Prince with Jeff Green? Some might say there was not an upgrade due to the recency of Jeff Green's underwhelming playoff performance. However, the Grizzlies saw an opportunity and took it. They took the chance that Jeff Green would prove a better fit offensively than Tayshaun Prince had proved thus far. Green also offered more athleticism than Prince did. If the Grizzlies had kept Tayshaun Prince, they would not have been better offensively, more than likely. So we can criticize the Jeff Green trade, but most of us can agree on this fact: Tayshaun Prince was not the answer to the Grizzlies' offensive problems. He was in the decline of his career, and keeping him was not the answer. Perhaps, the Grizzlies could have found a better offer, but maybe there was no better offer to be found.

His best offensive game of the season was his 20 point performance in the Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on December 5th. But his productivity was inconsistent, and so was his playing time. He logged a DNP-CD in 11 games. With Memphis, he averaged 24.2 minutes per game. While his on-the-court performance was underwhelming, his teammates all had positive things to say about their departing teammate when Prince was traded back in January, who acted as a total professional during the trade rumors and departure.

Tayshaun Prince still had some poster dunks this season with the Grizz:

Although Tayshaun Prince provided some length to the Grizzlies, his lack of athleticism and offensive abilities hurt rather than helped the team. When his role was reduced this season, it only made sense for the Grizzlies to trade him away and try to gain some more offensive firepower. Tayshaun did have slightly better stats this year with the Grizz than last season, when he averaged 6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, but it still wasn't enough. Memories of Prince's time in Memphis will always be mixed, but his professionalism and chemistry with his teammates will always be in a positive light.