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2015-2016 Memphis Grizzly Player Review: JaMychal Green

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The biggest pleasant surprise of them all in 2015-2016, JaMychal Green proved himself to be perhaps the most valuable member of the Memphis Grizzlies outside of the Core Four.

JaMychal's energy off the bench was huge for the Grizzlies this past season,
JaMychal's energy off the bench was huge for the Grizzlies this past season,
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies Forward

2015-2016 Regular Season Stats (provided by basketball-reference.com)

Points Per Game 7.4
Rebounds Per Game 4.8
Field Goal % 46.5
Three Point % 33.3
Blocks Per Game .4
Offensive Rating 105
Defensive Rating 107
Net Rating -2
PER 14.6
Win Shares Per 48 Minutes .086


Overview

JaMychal Green was not supposed to lead the Memphis Grizzlies in regular season games played at 78. He shouldn't have had to play 1,446 minutes for the Grizzlies this season. He was not supposed to start in 15 games, or take a little more than 6 shots per game. He was supposed to be the fourth big on the roster, behind Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Brandan Wright. The plan was likely to get him minutes here and there, depending on match-up, and let him grow in to a role organically off the bench so that he wouldn't have to be depended on so heavily.

Clearly that didn't happen.

JaMychal, perhaps more than any other player who was "supposed to be" on the team since October, played outside of his anticipated role this season. The injuries to Wright and Gasol forced Dave Joerger's hand, and JaMychal to his credit stepped up to the challenge. That isn't to say he was perfect- he was undersized in multiple match-ups as the season progressed, and the fact that he was asked to play 16% on his minutes at Center according to basketball-reference.com amplifies the fact that Memphis' health was a major issue.

The increased role allowed for opportunity to JaMychal to expand his skill set. His shot chart this past season shows areas where his game has evolved, and where it can continue to grow.

JaM Shot Chart

As a pick and pop player, he can improve. Again, though, he took more shots against higher quality opponents than he will be asked to moving forward. His ability to shoot the three point basket is also worth watching, as is his ability to perhaps play on the wing against larger wing players for short bursts of time.

When there was little else to be counted on this season, JaMychal was there to provide energy and effort. Green showed a lot of versatility on both ends of the court in 2015-2016, defensively being able to defend multiple positions and showing that he had the understanding of body position and scheme to be a decent to good rim protector despite his lack of size. Opposing players shot 3.6% worse than their average when defended by JaMychal on shots six feet or closer to the rim, and 4.4% worse on attempts ten feet or closer.

That is a sign of athleticism, of basketball IQ, and most of all, effort.


Best Game of the Season-

March 7th, 2016- win vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. 16 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks.

Worst Game of the Season-

March 14th, 2016- loss to Houston Rockets. 9 points on 4-17 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers.

Looking Ahead-

What a difference two years can make. From being waived by the San Antonio Spurs and D-League games to a key rotation player for an NBA team, JaMychal Green has proven that he is worthy of minutes on a good NBA team (and lots of them on a bad NBA team.) That experience and knowledge is especially valuable considering his 2016-2017 salary; at $980,431 according to spotrac.com, pound for pound he may be the most valuable non-Core Four Grizzly.

His ability to play 14 or so productive minutes a night as a good rotation bench big, coupled with the development of Jarell Martin as a solid 4th big off the bench, could make Brandan Wright expendable via trade if the Grizzlies decide to go that route. Memphis could sign Chris Andersen to a veteran minimum contract to stay in Memphis as a 5th big/local legend and cult icon (Hamed Haddadi 2.0). Then, they could tag the valuable contract (when healthy) of Wright on to the 1st round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft that they acquired from the Clippers in the Jeff Green trade and see what possibilities are out there in terms of players/moving up in the draft.

Memphis could also opt to keep Wright and be set in the front court heading in to 2016-2017. JaMychal Green's better than expected play in 2015-2016 provides Memphis with options and a much more experienced big coming off the bench moving forward. That is more than anyone could have anticipated when JaMychal arrived in Memphis.


Player Grade: B

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