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Season in Review: Wayne’s Injury-filled World

Wayne Selden could be great, if only his body would realize it.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Check out previous entries in our Season in Review series here.

Wayne Selden

Season PPG APG FG% 3 point FG % Off. Rating Def. Rating Net Rating PER
Season PPG APG FG% 3 point FG % Off. Rating Def. Rating Net Rating PER
2017-2018 9.3 1.9 43% 40.20% 101 115 -14 11.8
Stats provided by basketball-reference.com
Brandon Conner/NBA.com

This was supposed to be Wayne Selden’s season.

His Summer League was one to remember, and he finally looked to be making strides towards the legitimated NBA player that many hoped he would be. And then Wayne struggled, not with handling the ball or finding his range, but with staying on the floor healthy.

Selden missed the first 11 games, then played one for some reason, then sat one, then played again, and sat the next 23. His quad just wasn’t ready to play NBA minutes and the risk seemed far too high to test pushing him into a failing season without being 100%.

But the Kansas standout finished the season on a high note. Once his legs grew stronger under him he found a nice rhythm in the makeshift rotation coach J.B. Bickerstaff trotted out each night. Wayne Selden Jr. proved he can compete in this league, using his strengths of sharp shooting and world class athleticism he brought a spark to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The biggest takeaway for Wayne Selden is is that next season, barring another nagging injury, will actually be Selden’s year. He likely won’t have the Summer League to prepare for and will have plenty of time in the offseason to work out any kinks that will keep him sidelined to start next season.

Best Game

There was one game in late January that Wayne Selden snapped. He game out guns blazing on January 20th against the New Orleans Pelicans and gave Memphis fans something to actually care about watching that night. He played just 27 minutes, which at the time was a lot for him, and scored 31 points. The best part of his night was his efficiency. Selden was 11-16 from the field, 5-7 from three point range, and 4-4 from the free throw line.

To further prove that the team was feeding the ball to him as he was heating up, he only had two assists and two rebounds. New Orleans didn’t have an answer for his quick attack and Selden was just in the zone. Fortunately, Memphis won’t need this type of performance from him every night, but what a luxury to know that he is capable of such a game.

Worst Moment

There wasn’t any real on court issues with Selden. When he was healthy enough to play real minutes, he produced. But that was his problem: he simply couldn’t stay on the floor. His worst moment comes in November when he tried to play through a nagging quad injury. His season debut game in a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets on November 11th. Selden would play just four useless minutes. Then oddly he logged a DNP the next game and followed with a 15 minute outing on November 15th against the Pacers.

Selden would score just two points in that game, two free throws, and sit the next 23 games. He would not see the floor until December 31st. That whole three game stint of him dressing out to play but with no real intent of contribution was just strange. That situation basically defines Grizzlies basketball for the 2017-18 season.

Thing to Improve

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball wise, Selden is so exciting. He shoots the ball efficiently, doesn’t turn it over often, and makes good decisions on the floor. He has great size and bounce, and with a proper team around him, will be extremely effective next season. Wayne Selden just has to keep his body in check. His NBA career has been defined by constant injury. This offseason will be a key time in his career to take a deep breath, get healthy, and be ready to start the next season on a positive note.

Overall Season Grade

I loved watching Wayne Selden. He is an electric scorer with a knack for getting buckets. He played just 35 games dispersed into small streaks of playing time. The pool of analysis on him is so small that a season grade doesn’t seem fair, but he can only control so much with his body. He is being graded on a curve, though since his injuries have become a constant theme I am hesitant to give him such privilege.

GRADE: B-

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