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Grizzly Roster Rankings: Bottom of the Roster Guys (11-17)

The GBB staff ranked the entire Grizzlies roster. We kick off the countdown with a lot of young, unproven talent.

NBA: Summer League-Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

With Sports Illustrated and ESPN both publishing player rankings, we over at Grizzly Bear Blues thought that we'd get in on the ranking fun. Besides, it's the offseason, and the well of JaMychal Green and Robert Pera's ownership only runs so deep.

To come up with our rankings of the Grizzlies roster, we polled nine writers, who ranked every player from 1 to 17. Players were then ranked based on their average. Writers were allowed to make their own assumptions regarding health, since we can only speculate in the cases of Chandler Parsons and Mario Chalmers. For simplicity (and also to make this ranking a little more cheerful), JaMychal Green was included. Ivan Rabb, who just signed, was not.

We kick off our countdown today with the bottom seven of the Grizzlies roster. Be warned; it's kind of depressing.


17. Rade Zagorac

Average Rank: 15.9

Highest Rank: 13

Lowest Rank: 17

A draft and stash from a year ago, Zagorac was brought over this season and expected to contribute at the NBA level. But as someone whose entire career has been played overseas, Rade is mostly an unknown quantity.

It’s largely for that reason that Rade ends up so low on the list. It also doesn’t help that during his lone appearance against semi-NBA competition in Las Vegas Summer League that he looked overmatched athletically and couldn’t shoot. In 21 minutes per game, Rade averaged just 5.3 points on a paltry 39.3% shooting.

NBA: Summer League-Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

16. Jarell Martin

Average Rank: 15.2

Highest Rank: 14

Lowest Rank: 17

In spite of multiple foot injuries, Jarell Martin’s rookie season was one of promise. Unfortunately, those promises went unfulfilled. Martin spent the vast majority of last season in Iowa with the Energy. During his third Summer League, Martin mixed one good half in with several more poor ones.

It was speculated at one point last offseason by some (myself included) that Martin could eventually play his way into JaMychal Green’s starting spot. Those days are long gone, and now the Grizzlies are just hoping Martin can become a rotation-level player.

15. Wade Baldwin IV

Average Rank: 15.0

Highest Rank: 13

Lowest Rank: 17

After such a promising start on opening night last season, expectations for Wade Baldwin have slowly and steadily declined to the point where it’s wondered if he’ll even manage to make the roster given the numbers crunch that the Grizzlies’ front office has put the team in.

It’s probably still too early to throw in the towel on Baldwin. Point guards don’t develop overnight, and even if he can’t run the offense, there’s still a chance that Baldwin carves out an NBA niche as a rotation-level two-guard who plays capable defense. But it’s telling that out of our 9 writers, only one ranked Baldwin higher than Andrew Harrison.

14. Dillon Brooks

Average Rank: 14.2

Highest Rank: 11

Lowest Rank: 16

Brooks has yet to play a single minute of NBA action, so it’s hard to know where he really ranks among those on the Grizzlies roster, but there’s no doubt that the former Oregon Duck is getting a boost from an impressive Summer League performance in which he shot 46.6% from the field and averaged just over 12 points per game. Unlike some of his teammates (see Martin, Jarell) Brooks just looked like an NBA player.

The uncertainty behind Brooks is also likely the reason for such variance between Brooks’ highest and lowest spots. Among the other players ranked from 11-17, only Andrew Harrison (not exactly beloved) and Mario Chalmers (injury questions) had a wider variance.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

13. Deyonta Davis

Average Rank: 12.8

Highest Rank: 11

Lowest Rank: 15

Davis’ spot on the list is probably most surprising. After all, I’m a card carrying member of the Cult of Deyonta Davis and believe he still represents the future at the center position for the post-Gasol Grizzlies. So why is everyone so low on Davis now?

I think there’s two reasons. First, Davis is still young and unproven. For all of those moments that he flashed with the NBA team last year, he still only has one NBA season under his belt, and a good portion of that was spent in the D-League. I also think Davis didn’t help himself in Vegas. Many expected him to put on a clinic in Summer League, and that didn’t quite happen. Davis pulled down rebounds, but never put on any sort of offensive clinic. (It’s worth noting that Davis may have been handicapped there with pick-and-roll partners.)

So while Davis’ rank is disappointingly low this year, Grizzlies fans should really hope that his performance this season merits a move up the rank next year.

12. Mario Chalmers

Average Rank: 11.4

Highest Rank: 7

Lowest Rank: 16

There’s no doubt that if Chalmers is fully healthy and anywhere near what he was during his previous stint with the Grizzlies that he's ranked far too low. Chalmers was a legitimate backup point guard for Memphis, and, when paired with Conley, created a lethal backcourt that could both create and space the floor.

That remains to be seen. Chalmers’ situation —over 30 and coming off an Achilles injury—is seldom-conquered, and that lingering question is likely behind the wide variance in his rankings. But if he can overcome this injury and return to something close to form, Chalmers instantly becomes the best point guard on the team not named Mike Conley, and skyrockets up the roster ranking.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

11. Andrew Harrison

Average Rank: 11.1

Highest Rank: 7

Lowest Rank: 16

Amazingly enough, after fans spent so long demanding Harrison be cut or traded, the young guard out of Kentucky finds himself ranked as one of the higher young players on the Grizzlies roster. Four of our nine contributors even put Harrison in the Grizzlies top ten. (You can decide for yourself whether this says more about Harrison or the Grizzlies roster. As a Harrison fan, I choose to make it about Andy.)

Over the course of his young career, Harrison has made strides in his game both in Iowa and under Fizdale. He’s a willing and capable, if sometimes athletically overmatched, defender, and his spot up shooting numbers from behind the arc improved as the season went on. Harrison tops out as a replacement-level backup, a combo guard with size and below-average finishing ability, but given what was expected of him, that in and of itself is impressive.


Check out Grizzly Bear Blues tomorrow as we break into the top 10!

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