Memphis Grizzlies: Who should start at shooting guard?

Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /

No one has clearly stepped forward and claimed the Memphis Grizzlies’ starting shooting guard spot with their play this preseason, so let’s dive into every candidate’s case a bit more closely.

The Memphis Grizzlies are now three games into their five-game preseason schedule. They’ve looked a bit rusty, particularly on the offensive end of the court, but it’s likely best not to read too much into their performance thus far. Head coach David Fizdale has been playing around with a lot of different lineup combinations, giving a considerable amount of minutes to players that are unlikely to see much action once the regular season begins.

That’s a direct result of the Grizzlies having several pressing personnel decisions left to make. Memphis needs to trim its roster down to 15 players by the time they begin play on Oct. 17, and doesn’t have much clarity on exactly how the end of its bench will shake out. The Grizz also have a gaping hole at the starting shooting guard spot, a reality which has been (and remains) the most interesting of several intriguing plot lines of the preseason.

No one has distinguished themselves enough to even suggest that there is a clear favorite to secure the starting job at the 2, at least not via their preseason play. If anything, most of the players contending for the role have disappointed significantly, or simply been unavailable.

That’s clearly not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world. The Grizzlies have a lot of data on all of their players beyond the three games of preseason basketball they’ve played thus far, and they’ll inevitably incorporate it into their decision-making process. Fizdale has to have a decent sense of who he plans to open the season with at this point. He hasn’t made it clear what that plan is just yet though, so we’ve put together our best look into all of the candidates, and a recommendation for the final selection.

Players are included here are ranked from the least fitting for starters’ minutes to the most. Please keep in mind that this is an analysis of who should be the team’s starting shooting guard, not a prediction of who is most likely to start. We’ve included Ben McLemore for consideration, despite the fact that he will miss the start of the year with a broken foot, as this question would have remained an open one entering the preseason even had he been healthy.