We're nearing the end of September, and one month from tomorrow the Memphis Grizzlies will hit the hardwood at FedExForum with a season opening matchup against the defending Eastern Conference Champions.
The Grizzlies had a highly productive offseason as they picked up Matt Barnes in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. They also signed veteran forward/center Brandan Wright in free agency. With those two veterans coming into the lineup, the Grizzlies will likely have more athleticism in their front court than ever before.
The Grizzlies have some talented youth returning to the bench for the 2015-16 season. Jarnell Stokes is one of the sophomore players that will likely get more playing time when the season begins.
Stokes averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 19 games for Memphis last season. He shot 56.8 percent from the floor in the limited action he had with the Grizzlies.
There are some holes on the Grizzlies roster that might allow Stokes to become Zach Randolph's back up for this upcoming season. The Grizzlies lost forward Jon Leuer this summer in a trade with the Phoenix Suns that gave them the draft rights to guard Andrew Harrison.
Stokes is a slightly smaller version of Randolph who is solid on offense. If he were to ever reach his full potential, he has the ability to become a potential starter in the NBA. Stokes is undersized at 6'8", but has the ability to hang with most athletic big men in the league.
The Memphis native is fighting for the back up job behind Randolph against combo forward Jeff Green and 2015 first round pick Jarell Martin. Stokes played well during Orlando Summer League play and helped guide the Grizzlies summer squad to a championship.
Will Dave Joerger allow the sophomore forward to play big minutes and back up Z-Bo in 2015-16? At this point it is all up in the air.
What are your expectations for Stokes this upcoming season? Let us know in the comments below!