The image is burned in Grizzlies fans' minds all too well: Gilbert Arenas and O.J. Mayo struggling to even get across half court with Eric Bledsoe guarding them in the 2012 first round playoff series against the Clippers. The Grizzlies had to patch up their backup point guard position. That's where Jerryd Bayless came in. Although he never played a true point guard role, he provided ball handling, shooting and scoring off an otherwise thin bench. With a player option for next season, it remains unclear whether Jerryd Bayless will don a Grizzlies' uniform next season or not.
Bayless averaged eight points, three assists and two boards in his fourth season in the league. He came of the bench and played around 20 minutes each game, and he was one of the only Grizzlies who could get their own shot. Unfortunately, he and coach Lionel Hollins butted heads all year long. Perhaps, a new coach could convince him to to stay another year in hope of getting more consistent better playing time.
The fourth-year guard made $3 million this season and would be owed just north of that next year. However, it will be up to him whether or not he plays the contract out. Another team will probably offer him more than $3 million, so it will be up to the Grizzlies to either match the offer or offer him more money to stay.
The Grizzlies would love for Bayless to opt into the next year of his contract, but should he opt out that leaves the Grizzlies with yet another hole to fill. If he does return, Bayless needs to improve his ability to run the offense from the point guard position. Bayless played point, but he rarely brought the ball up the floor because he showed he couldn't find his own offense while doing that. Who knows if it was in his head that he had to get everyone else involved first so it threw off his own offense. Whatever it was, there is no way Bayless can be successful while being that one-dimensional.
Season Grade: B
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