John Konchar - Guard, Purdue University Fort Wayne
24 years old, 6’5”, 210 pounds, 6’7” wingspan
DRAFT: Undrafted in 2019 NBA Draft (signed two-way contract with Memphis)
NBA EXPERIENCE: One Season with Memphis
CAREER STATS: 19 games played, 2.8 points per game in 9.5 minutes per game, 2.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 64.9% field goal percentage, 50% three point shooting, 50% free throw shooting, 71.6% effective field goal percentage, 18.0 PER, .182 win shares per 48 minutes.
It only took 181 minutes for John Konchar to become a fan favorite for the Memphis Grizzlies. Konchar has a very small sample size with the Grizzlies, but he was impressive in his limited action. Konchar went from starting the season down in Southaven with the Hustle to being the first non-rotation guy off the bench for the Grizzlies in the Orlando bubble.
Konchar has a very small sample size in the NBA, but he’s shown just enough for the Grizzlies to consider signing him to a guaranteed NBA deal, with other teams likely trying to poach John from the Grizzlies this offseason as he enters restricted free agency.
Is Memphis going to stay Jitty? Or will another NBA city become the Jittiest place on Earth?
Numbers that may make Konchar
18: Konchar ranked 3rd on the Grizzlies in PER this past season of all players who played more than 5 games this past season. His 18.0 PER was second behind Jonas Valanciunas’ 22.2 and Brandon Clarke’s 20.9.
4.5: Konchar led the Grizzlies this past season with a Box Plus/Minus of 4.5, with Brandon Clarke a fairly distant second with a BPM of 3.1.
.182: Konchar tied with Jonas Valanciunas for second on the Grizzlies in Win Shares per 48 Minutes (.182) trailing just Brandon Clarke who had a WS/48 of .183.
Konchar ranks high on the Grizzlies in essentially every advanced statistic and just seems to make those winning plays on the basketball court.
Numbers that may mean Konchar is gone
1.9: John Konchar averaged just 1.9 field goal attempts per game for the Grizzlies. As effective as John is, he’s simply not aggressive enough to be a true threat on the offensive end. Even with the Hustle, John averaged only 8.8 attempts which would rank 8th on the team for those who appeared in more than 3 games. In a recent appearance on the Core 4 Podcast, John even admitted he wished he had been a little more aggressive on the offensive end.
15.6%: One of the few advanced stats that doesn’t make John look great is his turnover percentage. The Grizzlies used John as an end of bench/emergency point guard in the Orlando bubble at the tail end of games that were decided, but with a turnover percentage of 15.6% it doesn’t look like Konchar can handle a point guard like role. With a healthy Jones, Winslow and Anderson, John may not need to handle ball handling duties. But with a roster full of shooting guards, John will need something that makes him stand out from the others.
Pulse of Grizz Nation
A Pulse of Grizz Nation free agency poll for @sbnGrizzlies.— Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham) October 1, 2020
John Konchar became a fan favorite in limited minutes this past season.
As he enters restricted free agency, should the Grizzlies bring him back next year if the price is right?
Konchar presents a relatively cheap option for the Grizzlies that can come off the bench and have a positive impact on the game. For some Grizzlies fans, it’s a clear decision to keep a guy who just makes winning plays. For others, the Grizzlies are better off looking elsewhere with Dillon Brooks, Grayson Allen and Marko Guduric on contract for next season and with De’Anthony Melton a restricted free agent himself this offseason. Should the Grizzlies re-sign Melton, there isn’t clear playing time for Konchar. The Grizzlies could also decide to move on from Guduric and have Konchar become the emergency shooting guard off the bench.
The Grizzlies will certainly have their options on what to do with Konchar. The poll votes for Konchar to return, but it may not be that easy.
The Final Offer
Konchar may have played limited minutes for the Grizzlies this past season, but his hustle play was enough to warrant the desire to keep him around. Konchar reminds me a lot like former Thunder forward Nick Collison. Collison didn’t do anything exceptionally well for the Thunder, but he just seemed to make winning plays off the bench for the Thunder. Konchar gives that same vibe. He may not average more than 7 or 8 points per game throughout his NBA career, but he’ll grab a decent number of boards, assists and play some solid defense while continuing to make the hustle plays Grizzlies fans have grown to love.
De’Anthony Melton will likely take top priority for the Grizzlies in free agency, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Grizzlies lock up Konchar in the early stages of free agency on a cheap deal. If the Grizzlies allow Konchar to sign an offer sheet with another team, it’s likely that team will have a deal for Konchar a few million more than the Grizzlies would like to pay.
The Final Offer: 2 year deal worth between $5-$6 million
The Grizzlies should have no issue paying Konchar similar to what they’re paying Marko Guduric, an inferior player. Anything higher than $3 million per year and the Grizzlies are likely better off letting John walk.