Wayne Selden is listed as a “guard” on ESPN. He’s the only player on the Memphis Grizzlies roster with this position. Other guards, like Mike Conley or Troy Daniels are listed as a “PG (point guard)” or “SG (shooting guard)”. It seems that even ESPN doesn’t really know what Wayne Selden is. Memphis head coach David Fizdale also struggles with that same problem.
Selden is listed at 6’5”, 230 pounds. That’s a pretty decent sized point guard, bigger than Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Stephen Curry. He played college ball as a Kansas Jayhawk off the ball a good bit, where he played significant minutes for three years. He averaged just under 14 points per game in his last college year, shooting 39.2% from three-point land.
Wayne Selden threw it DOWN in transition! pic.twitter.com/UwF3AM2wko— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 16, 2017
To put it lightly, Selden has struggled in the pros. He hasn’t quite found a home with a team or on the court. He was acquired by Memphis after the All-Star break from the New Orleans Pelicans. As a Grizzly, Selden has averaged 16.9 minutes a game and has shot the ball…not well. He has flashes of explosiveness and plays pretty average defense. He’s been the best all-around guard option off the bench all year, which isn’t saying much, but I like Selden.
He plays hard and more confidently than Andrew Harrison. Maybe I’m too hard on Harrison, but I haven’t seen him do anything positive. Brandon A of GBB is a Harrison sympathizer.
Andrew Harrison, a rookie, hasn't looked great in his first playoff minutes against the frickin Spurs. Calm down people— Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham) April 16, 2017
I can think of two monstrous dunks (one shown above) in transition that Selden has had, that in my book earn him more minutes than any other Grizzly reserve. Troy Daniels could make a case to get more minutes than Selden, but Daniels is a shooter and that’s literally it.
I’m convinced that Selden can shoot; he’s just off right now. He’s shooting 43% overall, including 25% from deep, so his stats are less than impressive. But handling the ball hasn’t been a huge issue, he’s averaging less than one turnover a game (granted, he doesn’t play that many minutes), and when the ball is in his hands I don’t want to scream. His shooting will catch up with confidence and more experience, and as long as he can stay in front of his opposition on defense, I don’t mind him in the game.
He’ll continue to make rookie mistakes that frustrate Grizzly fans to no end, but that’s what we are working with at this point. I will choose Selden over Harrison 10 out of 10 times, though there may be other options off the bench. Wade Baldwin IV could give the same energy with a little more scoring, but Fizdale has yet to experiment with that. James Ennis III is not a ball handler like Selden has the potential to be, and I already shared my thoughts on Troy Daniels.
The best option is to play Mike Conley as much as possible, which would solve the backup point guard problem temporarily. But since that isn’t an option, Selden will have to do. I’m as guilty as anyone of getting frustrated with the guard play of this year’s Grizzly team, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. Here’s to not getting swept by the Spurs.