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2020-2021 Memphis Grizzlies Player Previews: Desmond Bane

Bane in Memphis....

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Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Desmond Bane is built like a tank. An athletic, sharpshooting, 6’6” tank that is now a Memphis Grizzly.

Something that this Memphis Grizzlies franchise has arguably never seen before. A 6’6” wing, that can fit in anywhere on floor - on both ends of the floor. He can score, play two through four in Taylor Jenkins four guard rotation that he has shown this preseason.

One thing that is a consistent theme with the Memphis Grizzlies the last two drafts, and free agencies - bring in guys that make good basketball decisions. You can look up and down the roster of Memphis, and every single guy will do what is best for the team and try to be consistent on the floor in terms of playmaking decisions. Bane fits the build perfectly, and could be in the starting rotation before years end.

2019-2020 Overview:

While the NBA has trended on drafting guys that are freshman or sophomores the Grizzlies have now added three guys that have played over 100 college games. Xavier Tillman, Killian Tillie, and now Desmond Bane all in one offseason.

Bane’s senior season at TCU, he led the BIG 12 in three point percentage(44.2%), and sat in seventh in the entire NCAA last season. That stat isn’t misleading from a attempts taken last season either - Bane led the BIG 12 in field goal attempts.

Bane was put in situations at TCU where he had to be “the guy,” and at times, he was forced to do things that he wasn’t comfortable with. Playing high pick n’ roll, and being the main focus to opposing defenses - Bane at times did too much. A wing of his stature shouldn’t be put in those situations, but with his role at TCU, the offense was trying to get him to his spots. Pin downs, curls, and moving without the ball, Bane was fantastic at.

Projected role:

It’s funny, because the Grizzlies have so much depth on the wings. Bane will be, at the very least, a three off the bench (or four with Jenkins four guard offense), but this takes the pressure off of his progression as a rookie. He walks into Memphis continuing to grow on both ends. Bane could potentially see the starting five, but that would be maximizing his rookie season, and would also mean that Desmond is already better than several “veterans” on this roster.

His projected role is a steady shooter off the bench for the Grizzlies. Consistently coming off the bench, and running with the starters, and giving Jenkins flexibility when playing certain opponents. It all comes back to his size and build - Bane is built different, and fits Jenkins “pace and space” scheme.

Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

SEASON BEST CASE SCENARIO:

The best case scenario for Desmond Bane’s rookie season is growing his game to the NBA level. Guys are bigger, and more aggressive defensively - so getting used to better close outs from guys his size. Offensively becoming a viable part of the Grizzlies bench unit, and potentially cracking the starting lineup.

2020-21 Memphis Grizzlies Content Day Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Jenkins has been filtering through the two spot to see whom will fit in that spot on opening night. With two remaining preseason matchups sitting in front of the Grizzlies, it will be interesting to see if Bane gets a run with the starting five this preseason.

If Bane becomes a starter this season, that would mean that he is progressing ahead of schedule. Expect Bane to run with the starters this season, but off the bench as Taylor Jenkins filters through the crazy depth at the wing position.

SEASON WORST CASE SCENERIO:

Worst case scenario for Bane this season isn’t even that bad. Working on getting a feel for guys that are his size or bigger, and working his way into sets that Jenkins puts him in.

Bane should consistently get utilized off the bench, even in the worst case, but this will be a telling season for Taylor Jenkins, and what he values more. You’ve got some veterans ahead of Bane in terms of experience but Bane could surpass by mid-way point of the season in terms of talent, and helping this team become better on the court.

Really tough to think of a worst case scenario for Bane this upcoming season. He fits in really well with the bench unit, and Jenkins seems to love his size in small ball offense/defense.

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS:

The peaks and valleys of a rookie season are expected. Expect Bane to have highs and lows to his shooting from deep this season - it happens. The good thing about Bane is that he does a lot of other things really well on the court that can hide those things defensively.

Bane studies film really well, and isn’t selfish to his game in particular - from what I've seen so far. He is still a rookie, so Jenkins can mold him into what he wants Bane to be in Memphis (within reason). Jenkins is already a fan of Bane’s production, and size as Jenkins wants a quicker, and small-ball offense/defense.

I expect Bane to be a guy that Memphis can easily draw up plays for out of timeout plays for. Bane is solid in a lot of areas. What I’d like to see Bane mature at - running a pick n’ roll with a big. There isn’t that patience there yet, but that could become lethal for Bane and the Grizzlies.

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