First time guest on The BarnBurner, @zachary__22 gives his thoughts on the Grizzlies’ second round pick of the 2018 draft and how that man can help keep a culture alive.
Coming into last season, the Memphis Grizzlies were in a period of transition. After parting ways with longtime franchise icons Tony Allen and Zach Randolph, fans of the team were left to question whether the grit-n-grind era had truly come to an end. After finishing last season 22-60 and 14th in the western conference, some of those suspicions seemed valid. However, after landing the 4th and 32nd picks in the NBA draft, the Grizzlies were in a prime spot to pick the types of players that could alter the course of a franchise.
During the NBA Summer League, Jaren Jackson, Jr. looked every bit the part of the future cornerstone the Grizzlies selected him to be. However, their second-round pick Jevon Carter is a direct call-back to the era of grit-n-grind that fans have been longing for since the departures of Randolph and Allen.
— CA Sports (@memphissports) July 2, 2018
During his time at West Virginia, Jevon Carter embodied the playing style that has been so endearing to Memphians everywhere. Some of his college accolades include being named two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and being selected four times to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Additionally, Carter was the 2018 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Carter combines pesky on-ball defense with his strong physical frame to create havoc for opposing backcourts.
Happy Fathers Day to Trae Young’s daddy Mr. Jevon Carter. pic.twitter.com/f5epScuIXh
— Nate Adrian's Hair (@hair_nate) June 18, 2018
During Carter’s first summer-league stint, Carter displayed some the defensive savvy that warranted the Grizzlies using their second-round selection to pick him. Over ten games, Carter averaged 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals per, stuffing the stat sheet each time he took the floor. In his best outing against the Jazz in Salt Lake City, Carter made his impact on the game felt with a solid 26 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Coming into this season, Carter’s role on the main roster is still somewhat of a mystery. After parting ways with Kobi Simmons, one of last year’s backup point guards, there still seems to be a bit of a logjam in the Grizzlies backcourt. Behind conductor and Memphis fan favorite Mike Conley, Andrew Harrison and Shelvin Mack will also be vying for minutes in the rotation along with Carter. While there may not be a role carved out for him immediately, expect Carter’s hustle and defensive prowess to keep him around on the roster and to eventually make him a pivotal part of the squad’s lineup.
Tony Allen, who was signed rather unspectacularly in the same summer that LeBron James and Chris Bosh bolted for Miami, made his mark on this franchise with one phrase. It was after a hard-fought victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, in his post-game sideline interview with Rob Fischer, that Allen saidit was all about the team’s “heart, grit, and grind.” While no one may have realized it at the time, Allen created a mantra for an entire city that some felt was abandoned when the Grizzlies decided not to resign him last summer. After selecting Jevon Carter in the second round, however, the Grizzlies are declaring loud-and-clear that grit-n-grind is here to stay.
[banner image: Smoking Musket]