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Humble Marko Guduric ready to compete

The Grizzlies’ newest international signing looking to prove he’s more than a 3-point shooter.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Marko Guduric isn’t a known commodity.

The thing people know him for is his 3-point shooting, but he’s much more than just a 3-point specialist.

At last week’s media day, Memphis Grizzlies Executive VP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman said the following of the Serbian swingman.

He can put the ball on the floor. He can play-make a little bit. He’s a good team defender. He’s a high-IQ player, [and] in general, we’re really trying to prioritize high-IQ basketball IQ in guys who we’re going out and trying to bring on the roster. But no, I’d be lying to you if I said his shooting wasn’t of interest to us.

Guduric has the game that can fit in Taylor Jenkins’ pace-and-space system. Yes, he could be a lethal shooter. Last season with Fenerbahce of Istanbul, Turkey, Guduric shot 47.7 percent from deep on three attempts a game. That number makes me wish time-traveling existed, so I can put him on the “Grit ‘n’ Grind” Grizzlies.

Paired with his 3-point shooting, he’s also a steady ball-handler that can create off the dribble and score inside the arc — I swear, he hit a mid-range jumper that brought back sweet memories of Grizzlies legend Beno Udrih. With his high-basketball IQ, and in this new free-flowing offense, Guduric could ease his way into becoming a solid secondary playmaker, as he catches up to the speed of the NBA game. At 6’6”, he also seamlessly slides in at either wing position without sacrificing much speed or size.

Luckily, in Memphis, he’s going to have the opportunity to showcase his skill set. The wing depth chart, aside from Kyle Anderson, Jae Crowder, and Dillon Brooks, is wide open. If Guduric catches fire and flashes that all-around game Kleiman was praising, he could be a major player in the rotation.

Off the bench, as a potential backup 2-guard, he spaces the floor and opens up the offense for playmakers like Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson, as well as a rim-runner like Brandon Clarke. As a backup 3, the role he mainly played in the Grizzlies’ first preseason game, he was another shooter and playmaker — alongside Grayson Allen and Bruno Caboclo — that gave Jones, and presumably Clarke, the spacing to operate the offense. As a starter, he could be the beneficiary of open kick-out’s off Ja Morant’s drives, or Jonas Valanciunas and Jaren Jackson Jr.’s post-ups.

His fit in Memphis’ new-look offense is tantalizing, and we should expect to see plenty of Guduric.

Maccabi Haifa v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

As this opportunity is presented, Guduric is looking to capitalize on it and introduce himself to Memphis and the rest of the league — both on and off the court.

I just like to compete, to win, to fight for every ball, and just to work hard. [And] that’s what I’m going to do everyday here,” Guduric said. “[Off the court] I’m just a regular guy. Humble and like to spend time with my family and my girlfriend and friends. That’s it, just a regular guy. I don’t do much. I just like to play basketball and focus on this. That’s it.

After years and years of desperately pleading for a shooter, the Grizzlies fanbase has received their wish. The Grizzlies finally have a deadeye 3-point shooter that’s going to keep defenses honest and let it fly from deep.

There’s more to him than that, though.

Marko Guduric is more than just a 3-point specialist though, and he’s going to work hard to show you.

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