May 3, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies point guard Jerryd Bayless (7) shoots the ball in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Former Arizona Wildcat Watch: Jerryd Bayless

Jerryd Bayless was the first Arizona Wildcat to turn pro after one season of play.  He was drafted 11th overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the Indian Pacers and then traded to the Portland Trailblazers.  That was just the beginning of trades for the combo guard.  He was traded to the New Orleans Hornets in October, 2010 and then again in November, 2010 to the Raptors.  It looks like he may have finally found what he does best in the NBA and a team that he fits with in the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bayless is one of those players that can hit open jumpers and can create his own shot off of the dribble.  He just needed to find his place on a team that needed his offensive abilities, and he needed to be willing to play off of the bench.  Bayless averaged 8.7 points per game this season for the Memphis Grizzlies, but became a key part of the success of the Grizzlies after they traded Rudy Gay.  Bayless averaged 11.1 points per game after the Rudy Gay trade and became a key addition to the success of the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies have had a lot of success because they play such strong defense, but they needed another scorer after Gay was traded.  Bayless is a good defender but it is his shooting that keeps him on the floor.  The starting unit for the Grizzlies has a hard time scoring at times, that’s when they throw Bayless in and let him create plays.  Bayless has one of the smoothest mid-range jumpoers that you will find in today’s game and with the big men that the Grizzlies possess he is a key to making opponents pay for doubling up on the big men.  He understand his role on the team and knows what he can and can’t do on the court.

Bayless may never end up being a superstar in the league but he will be around for quite some time with the tools that he possesses.  He should be just fine coming off of the bench as a spark for a playoff team.  If he improves enough, he could be a possible 6th man of the year in the making.  For now, he is the only Wildcat left with a shot at becoming NBA champion.   He may have the best shotat being an NBA champion for years to come with his new role on a really good team.

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