By: Brendan Smart (@Bsmart21)
The Memphis Grizzlies 2016-2017 season was another season full of speculation, injuries, and controversy. From Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons social media shenanigans, questioning General Manager Chris Wallace’s basketball IQ, and finding somethings special for the future.
See, a lot of people are focused on Grizzlies guard Tony Allen becoming a free agent, but I think they have found his successor. Possibly the most prized young Grizzly on the team at this moment. It just took Allen straining his calf, Parsons sitting out the rest of the season, and Andrew Harrison showing that he was half way knowledgeable about basketball for the Grizzlies to sign Wayne Selden Jr.
Selden has seen it all, from being the guy at the University of Kansas, seeing his draft stock fall due to injury, being with the Iowa Energy for half a season, and finally being called up by the New Orleans Pelicans on a 10-day. However, the Pelicans were too deep with guard depth, and Selden was not signed to another 10-day. That move by the Pelicans opened up something for Memphis and Selden days later.
Undrafted, similar to Troy Williams, talented, and will be a must watch in Head Coach David Fizdale’s new system he is implementing in Memphis. Selden brings offense and defense to his flashy game, and if asked can fit into a system given time. Similar to O.J. Mayo, but the defensive side is much better. Selden just simply does not back down from anyone.
Here is what has sold me on Selden: last regular season meeting in San Antonio, without Mike Conley, Wayne Selden rallied the troops it seemed. Being a defensive “stopper” on Kawai Leonard is a bit much, but making life on Kawai hard was definitely the case that 4th quarter into overtime. Selden as a rookie went 3-8 from the field in 23 minutes and scored 10 points in a heart breaking loss in San Antonio.
Now, I do not think the Grizzlies should spend money on another wing that is going to give them less production at a higher cost, even though that will most likely be the route the team takes. Selden just seems to be ahead of schedule talent wise, and potential is as far as the coaching staff will allow him go. His size, and athleticism give him the opportunity to be something special in this league, and if the Grizzlies allow it, it will be in Beale Street blue.
I do think that it is time for a guy like Selden to start over Allen, and if Allen would like to take a pay cut, to come off the bench in certain situations. Selden just seems like the guy to make the leap, and help Coach Fizz implement his full offense for the 2017-2018 NBA season.
The 2017 offseason will be one of the biggest in franchise history no doubt about it. A possible new General Manager, or another offseason of Chris Wallace. Either way, I don’t think that the Grizzlies should look for another starting two guard because they have already found him in Selden. Possibly bring Allen back to come off the bench, but I think that we all know the Grindfather thinks he can still start in this league, but who knows. I could not name a team that he would be happy, and starting for, especially with his roots in Memphis.