Mar 6, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies point guard Tony Wroten (1) passes the ball around Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) during the game at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports
Statistics: 35 games played, 7.8 minutes, 2.6 points, 1.2 assists, 0.8 rebounds per game
When he declared for the draft, I never would have expected Tony Wroten to be playing in the NBA playoffs this season. He’s averaging 2.8 minutes in the six games he’s played in, but he’s still getting playoff action. After a season that was split between the D-League and the NBA, I still think he made a mistake going to the league after just one year at Washington. Some of that might be my selfishness wanting a legitimate point guard this season, but I also think he could have improved his draft stock as well as improved as a player.
Rather than spend most of his time at shooting guard (despite not being able to shoot), Wroten would have been able to blossom as an oversized point guard, something all NBA teams relish. Nonetheless, he declared and left the Huskies after one season. After being drafted by the Grizzlies, he played 10 games in the D-League, where he put up similar numbers to what he did at UW. He averaged 15.7 points and 3.2 assists while starting two games for the Reno Bighorns. His final two outings sold the Grizzlies on him, scoring 21 and 27 points in his last two games for the Bighorns.
In between D-League stints, Wroten saw time in 35 NBA games. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.2 assists acting as a backup combo guard for the Grizzlies. His best outing came in a 101-77 win over the Brooklyn Nets, where he scored a season-high 11 points and dished out four assists in 23 minutes. He was rewarded with 26 minutes the next game, but shot just 1-7 and didn’t play more than 17 minutes the rest of the season.
With Mike Conley Jr. manning the point, the Grizzlies are set there for a while, but if Wroten can improve on his shooting, he could find his role as a sixth man backing up Conley and Tony Allen. Like Terrence Ross, Wroten is oozing with potential, so I’m looking forward to seeing if he can put it to use in the NBA.