At this point, it is common knowledge that the Grizzlies have struggled to grow and develop talent. This is especially true with their draft picks. After trading Jarrell Martin away earlier this week, the Grizzlies effectively shipped off the last remaining home grown draft pick from the 2010-2017 era. We know that Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are the backbone to this team and that doesn’t appear to be changing for at least another season. Despite that one area of consistency, the Grizzlies have seen 91 guys log minutes at the NBA level since 2010. That’s a lot of faces. Unfortunately, this turnover on the Grizzlies roster over the years has made it challenging to retain true impact role players.
Who's the best backup point guard the Grizzlies have had since 2011?
— Matt Preston (@flyergrizblog) July 20, 2018
- Players must have logged appearances in a minimum of 82 regular season games over the course of this time frame.
- 50% or more of the appearances during this block of time must be from the bench.
Memphis Grizzlies All-Reserve Team of the 2010’s
PG – Mario Chalmers
When Rio first was traded to the Grizzlies, I was torn. On one hand, I knew that he was a guy who was going to bring championship experience with him to the Grizzlies. On the other hand…
Last time the #FinalFour was in San Antonio, Mario Chalmers did this. 🔥
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 25, 2018
Fellow Tiger fans, I’m sorry for the trauma that I most likely caused you.
Back to the facts. Mario Chalmers was a stud in 2015-16 when healthy. It is mostly due to his performance that season that he is on this list. He missed the 2016-17 season with an achilles injury and he has not been the same since then. He was also on the Grizzlies’ roster last season, which was good because he needed some more appearances to qualify for this prestigious award.
Over the course of his two seasons in Memphis, Rio averaged 9.1p/3.4a/1.3s off of 41%/35%/85% shooting. He played in a total of 121 games and started only 17 of them, providing the majority of the spark from the bench.
Honorable mentions: Jerryd Bayless, Beno Udrih
SG – OJ Mayo
OJ Mayo came to the Grizzlies by way of a draft swap with the T’wolves in 2008. This is who Memphis ended up with instead of perennial All-Star Kevin Love. Anyway, Mayo did make an immediate impact as a starter for the Grizzlies. However, once the 2010 season rolled around, Mayo began to have issues with team rules and overall performance, which caused him to lose his starting gig.
The back half of his stint in Memphis, Mayo played in 137 regular season games over two seasons, serving in a reserve role in 120 of those games. In both seasons he played 26 minutes per game and averaged over 10p/2r/2a in each campaign. He shot over 3.5 3’s per game at a 36% clip. That’s a dependable bench guy.
Unfortunately, the years post Memphis were smeared by a suspension due to violating the NBA’s drug usage policy. Hopefully he can make it back into the league after his suspension is up. He is currently 30 years old and could definitely contribute to most rosters.
Honorable mention: He was the best by far.
SF – Vince Carter
First off, it’s pretty awesome that we got to see Vince Carter in a Grizzlies uniform. He certainly won’t be remembered by the general NBA fan by his time served in the Bluff City, but any blue blood Grizz fan will appreciate the 3 seasons that the 8 time All-Star spent in Memphis.
When Vince signed with the Grizzlies, he was 38 years old. This was in 2014. Two teams later and this man is still playing, and contributing.
In his 3 seasons in Memphis, durable Vince played in 199 regular season games and averaged almost 7 points per game. He shot threes at a 34% rate on 3.5 attempts per game. Also, when he came to Memphis, he really started to work on his range.
Vince Carter From Deep🔥 pic.twitter.com/mF49IDUdcV
— Barney371 (@AlexBarney371) February 21, 2016
Honorable mention: Quincy Pondexter
PF – Darrell Arthur
Arthur started his career in Memphis after being passed around by two teams that he never ended up playing for (Nola and Portland). After starting much of his rookie season, Arthur moved to a bench role, where he was arguably more productive. He played two years (2010-11, 2012-13) in the 2010’s and averaged almost 8 points in 18+ minutes per game. He pulled in almost 4 rebounds per game over this stretch. During the 2010’s, the Grizzlies’ bench has seen plenty of guys that could slide into the 4 slot. However, with Z-Bo and Marc soaking up minutes like a ShamWow, it was hard for Memphis to hang on to contributing reserves for an extended period of time.
Since being traded to the Nuggets for the guy who fills out our final roster spot, DA has continued to do much of the same, with almost identical production. This season after a series of trades, he will suit up in Phoenix for another back up role and they will get exactly what they expected, nothing more, nothing less.
Honorable Mention: Jarell Martin??
C – Kosta Koufos
Koufos was another Grizzlies big man that you could always count on giving you around 6 efficient points per game. He did not venture far away from the goal on offense, but this benefited him as he was close to pulling down multiple offensive rebounds each game in under 20 minutes of playing time.
An underrated aspect of Kosta’s game was his defense. He had a nose for where to be and was an excellent shot blocker. There were many times that he would be in the game instead of DPOY Marc Gasol and the opponents were just as intimidated to drive to the rim as they would be if Big Spain was in there.