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Jevon Carter to have surgery on thumb

What does this mean for the Grizzlies moving forward?

NBA: Summer League-Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies 2018 second round pick, Jevon Carter, suffered a right thumb ligament rupture while participating in a development camp Wednesday. Reports are saying that Carter’s thumb was caught on another player’s jersey. Carter will undergo surgery with a full recovery expected. No timetable has been released though similar injuries have sparked approximately six week recoveries, more information is expected following the surgery.

Ironically, the Grizzlies recently signed point guard Shelvin Mack to a one year deal, adding yet another point guard to the roster. Questions were already floating around about whether the Mack addition was a sign that Jevon Carter may not be NBA ready just yet. Mike Conley will obviously be the starter, and now Mack and Andrew Harrison will be pulling the second string minutes.

Shelvin Mack is a veteran guard that has shown ability to lead an offense. On the other hand, Andrew Harrison has not developed into any sort of consistent guard the Grizzlies were hoping for, yet he has not disappeared off the roster in two seasons either.

The question now is: does the injury to Jevon Carter really change anything for this team?


Carter was likely going to eat more G-League minutes than NBA, and with the recent signing of Shelvin Mack that became more apparent. Carter is an elite defender, but offensively still has a lot to learn. Harrison may be working toward grabbing more minutes at the two-guard spot, leaving Mack as the lone back-up point guard.

The Jevon Carter situation eerily reminds me of the same situation Kobi Simmons finds himself in. Carter can learn from Simmons: making the most of the NBA minutes when they come, and learning as much as he can while in Southaven.

I trust Shelvin Mack with the reins while Conley isn’t on the floor. If Mack has a freak injury, then there may be room for panic, but Carter’s injury isn’t as worrisome. I hate that Carter will have to nurse an injury so early in his career, but this is the Memphis Grizzlies we are talking about here: injuries are inevitable. Based on the estimated timetable of return, Carter will be ready for opening night of the NBA regular season if he makes the roster.

Unfortunately for him, he is losing at least a month of exposure and practice to show the coaching staff he can compete at the highest level. At worst, this injury stalls his development this summer and keeps him completely out of the NBA rotation. At best, he recovers with no problems and sneaks his way on to the Grizzlies roster, grabbing garbage minutes to work his way into the rotation.

Jevon Carter will be an NBA player in due time, but his mid-summer injury doesn’t set back the Grizzlies moving into the regular season. If nothing else, Chris Wallace practically predicted this injury and is now using Shelvin Mack as a nice insurance policy.