The Memphis Grizzlies can have a decision to make regarding Tyus Jones’ future this offseason. But even when Jones elects to return as an unrestricted free agent, the franchise can all the time use more point guard depth behind Ja Morant.
And it may not must look far to seek out it within the 2022 NBA Draft.
Enter Kennedy Chandler, a Memphis native who starred in his one season of school basketball at Tennessee.
Chandler is projected on most most drafts to be chosen across the time of the Grizzlies are on the clock at No. 22 overall June 23 (7 p.m. CT, ESPN).
Here’s a take a look at why Chandler could make sense for the Grizzlies:
Chandler is 6-foot-1 and 170 kilos, so he’ll enter the NBA on the smaller side. For what he lacks in height, he makes up for with a 41.5-inch max vertical and a 6-foot-5 wingspan that plays larger than his height. That is an element of the explosive package that made him a disruptive defender who averaged 2.2 steals in 31 minutes per game for the Vols.
Like Morant and Jones, Chandler has a reliable floater that he uses around larger defenders within the paint. He also shot higher on 3-pointers (38.3%) than Morant and Jones in college, but his 60.6% shooting on 2.9 free-throw attempts per game is a glaring weakness. Chandler can play on and off the ball. He shined in pick-and-roll situations often finding big men across the rim.
Potential slot in Memphis
Whether Jones returns or not, it’s likely the Grizzlies goal a veteran point guard now that the team is in win-now mode.
Chandler would boost the team’s third option at point guard and permit players like Demond Bane and De’Anthony Melton to deal with their off-the-ball roles when one in all the highest two point guards aren’t playing.
Chandler’s 3-point shooting can be a lift, but his free-throw numbers aren’t ideal for a Grizzlies team that had its struggles this season. Chandler showed at Tennessee that he can play in pick-and-roll and with pace, and people are two of the most important emphasis for the Grizzlies.
Giving Chandler Brandon Clarke as a pick-and-roll partner can be a super situation for a rookie guard.