Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane Living Up To Preseason Expectations

Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The NBA Draft is always a time for teams to try and build for the future, but near the end of the first-round, many teams are just looking to round out their roster and oftentimes are not really expecting much from the talent they take. 

This is not to say that there are not talented players near the end of the first-round or later, but nobody ever really pays much attention to the 30th overall pick. In 2020, the Boston Celtics held the rights to the 30th overall pick in the first-round and due to them already drafting Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard earlier in the first-round, they decided to trade this pick for some future second-round draft picks. 

Boston traded this pick to the Memphis Grizzlies and they did not hesitate to select Desmond Bane from TCU. In four years at TCU, Bane turned himself into a multi-time All-Conference player and was one of the more ready “3-and-D” players in the 2020 draft class, yet he slipped in the draft because he was “older” and did not have “as much potential” as younger guys. 

Well, now in his second season in the league, Desmond Bane has the fourth-most points out of any player selected in the 2020 NBA Draft and is currently leading the Memphis Grizzlies to wins with Ja Morant on the sideline. 

LATEST NBA NEWS: This 76ers-Grizzlies Trade Lands Ben Simmons In Memphis

The Grizzlies struck gold by trading for Bane on draft night back in 2020 and since the end of last season, they knew he was going to be special. Not only did he open the 2021-22 season for Memphis with 22 points, but Bane has since worked his way into the starting rotation and currently leads the Memphis Grizzlies in total points on the year. 

The confidence he exerts is contagious between all of his teammates and the 23-year-old wing looks like a multi-year veteran out on the floor. Desmond Bane may only be in his second season in the league, but his head coach Taylor Jenkins trusts him just as much as he does Steven Adams, who is the team’s veteran with the most experience in the league!

On Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 23 points and helped push them to a 113-103 road victory to improve to 18-11 on the season. This was the ninth time this season that Banes has scored at least 20 points and the fifth time that he has knocked down 5 three-pointers in a game this season. 

Following this game, Desmond Bane is now averaging 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.9 steals and is shooting 46.5% from the floor and 40.7% from three-point range on the season.

LATEST NBA NEWS: This 76ers-Grizzlies Trade Lands Ben Simmons In Memphis

Back on December 9, the Grizzlies took on the Lakers at home in a game that they were not just missing Ja Morant, but Dillon Brooks as well. Memphis was the heavy underdog in this game, but this did not seem to phase Bane or the entire Grizzlies team. 

They went on to win 108-95 and Desmond Bane was the leader of this team again, scoring 23 points on 5-11 shooting from deep. “Before the game started, I told everybody to have fun,” Bane said after the game. “Just do what we do and have fun playing the game.”

Guys like Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams may be the leaders of this young Grizzlies team, but Desmond Bane is that guy that keeps everyone together. Everyone in the Grizzlies’ locker room loves having him as a teammate and with his play on the floor this season, Bane is living up to the expectations many put on him in the preseason. 

Memphis has taken the next step in their “rebuilding” process and they not only look like a playoff team in the Western Conference this season, but a team that can cause a lot of problems for opposing teams because of how well they move the ball and how many guys they have that can score. 

LATEST NBA NEWS: This 76ers-Grizzlies Trade Lands Ben Simmons In Memphis

Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are the two focal points on offense for this team, but Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson and Desmond Bane are all reliable scorers as well.

Really stepping into that key secondary scorer role the Grizzlies needed him to be this season, Bane has proven to be the key to success for this Grizzlies franchise. 

Without Morant on the floor because of a knee injury, Memphis has now won 9 of their last 10 games and in this span, Desmond Bane is averaging 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals and is shooting 46.5% from the floor, 47% from deep and 93.3% from the free-throw line. 

Beginning the season as a long-shot to win Most Improved Player, Bane’s odds have continued to increase and now he is a realistic candidate for this prestigious honor. 

LATEST NBA NEWS: This 76ers-Grizzlies Trade Lands Ben Simmons In Memphis

No matter what kind of role he is thrown into, the 23-year-old shooting guard always looks calm, cool and collected every time he steps out onto the court. It is hard to find young players with this kind of energy and poise in their game, which is why Bane is going to be a problem in this league for many years to come.

About Brett Siegel 1870 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as an NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with Louisville Basketball and FanSided covering the NBA. He was a member of our staff until April 2022.