Check out our additional coverage at GBB about newcomer Marko Guduric:
How will Marko Guduric fit in Memphis? - By Guest Eurosport writer
When Marko Guduric steps on the court for the Grizzlies, most people will go directly to their phones and google who this 6’ 7” international is. They will quickly find that he is a Serbian born player who is making his debut to the NBA.
Guduric is 24 years old who has been playing throughout Europe since 2013. His main, most impactful, stint was the past two seasons with the Turkish club Fenerbahce. They won the Turkish League Championships in 2018 and the Turkish Cup in 2019.
An accolade from his 2019 season paints a perfect picture for what type of player Guduric will be for the Grizzlies. He was the, highly acclaimed, Turkish League Three Point Shootout champion, and the three ball is what makes him such an intriguing prospect entering the league.
He will, of course, have a huge learning curve entering the league. Guduric has never seen the athleticism and pace of play that the NBA will present, but his three-point upside brings an intriguing option for the Grizzlies at wing.
It is also worth noting his stat lines for the two preseason games:
Vs. MCH- 20 minutes, 8 points, 4-8 FG, 0-3 3PT
Vs. NZB- 17 minutes, 14 points, 6-7 FG, 2-3 3PT
As mentioned, Guduric spent his last season with Fenerbahce in the Turkish League. For context, the Turkish Super Ligi is one of the more competitive leagues in the world. It is nothing comparable to the NBA, but enough competition to where Guduric will have some useful experience.
Statistically speaking, Guduric averaged 9.4 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.9 rebounds last season with his club. Nothing impressive until taking a glance at his shooting percentages. He shot 54.9% from the field and 47.7% from three. If he could roll over these numbers to the league, the Grizzlies will finally have the sharp shooter they have needed for a long time coming.
It will be very interesting how Coach Taylor Jenkins acclimates Guduric in to a role this year. As everyone knows, the wing position will be very deep, however, that does not mean there isn’t opportunity. The Grizzlies have many mediocre names down the depth chart at this position. Guduric could quickly get comfortable with the pace and style of the NBA and be another great European asset on the Memphis Grizzlies. It will not necessarily be easy, but the path is there to carve out a role.
Another interesting point to note is Guduric’s basketball IQ, which Executive VP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman mentioned at NBA Media Day for the Grizzlies. It stood out in scouting enough to mention besides the three point percentages. This awareness of the game could be undervalued on a young team this season. This potential could land him a role helping the team outside the overall box score.
2019-2020 Best Case Scenario
The best case scenario for Marko Guduric this season is that he quickly establishes a sharp shooter bench role for the Grizzlies. Even if this doesn’t sound flashy, it is important to remember outside of all the qualities presented that he is still a virtual unknown that needs some work to his game. This is why the best case scenario should stay attainable.
Guduric could do wonders for this team being a go-to three-point option that fits perfectly with this pace and space style that the NBA has become. It actually makes a European-NBA transition much easier than before.
Additionally, if Guduric can use that basketball IQ to visualize and conceptualize where to play on defense, then the Grizzlies will have a much simpler choice of giving him quality minutes. The defense part of his game will be the most important if he wants to get to this best case scenario for this season.
2019-2020 Worst Case Scenario
The worst case scenario is pretty simple. Marko Guduric does not make it on the Grizzlies for very long. It could be the case where he never understands NBA schemes and sets to where he is unplayable on the court. This also could come from his shot never adjusting to the NBA. We have seen multiple occasions of shooters not being able to translate to the NBA. Unfortunately, there was a reason he just now made an NBA team, and the Grizzlies are gambling hoping he will not fall short of league material.
It will be a hard, uphill battle for Marko Guduric to contribute decent minutes to the Memphis Grizzlies this season. That needs to be said to not hide the fact of how tough this journey will be for him.
However, there is a way to find his niche fit on this team and cling to it. Guduric can become the trusty, knockdown three point shooter that the team has needed for years. 47.7% is no joke and proves he has the talent worth giving a chance to. He landed his two-year contract with an opportunity to prove himself. If Guduric can take this and make something out of it, maybe, just maybe, he could become a big steal of the offseason.
As for now, Guduric needs to take this preseason to adapt to the style and pace of the league and to work on the defensive shortcomings that have given him trouble up to this point. The shooting will be there. The next step is to bring it all together and become a multi-faceted player for the Memphis Grizzlies.