5 Players the Grizzlies Gave Up On a Little Too Quickly

Jan 25, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Toronto 101-99. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 25, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Toronto 101-99. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Every team has players that leave and end up becoming productive players elsewhere. The Memphis Grizzlies fall in that category.

Throughout the years, Memphis has given up on a few players that I really wish would still be around. Overall, they’re a great franchise and have done well for themselves. Sometimes, though, it’s just fun to play the “What if?” Game.

We’ve all done it on occasion. Whether it’s looking back on a job, ex boyfriend/girlfriend, school, investment or anything at all. You’ve done it.

These five players are all guys that were either waived, traded or let go in free agency. Some may recognize them, while others may not even realize that they were on the Grizz at one point.

Now lets dive in, shall we?

5. Jason Williams

While “White Chocolate” did put up great numbers in his four seasons with the Grizzlies, the problem was just that.

Four seasons.

Possibly the most entertaining to watch point guard to ever play the game was packed up and traded to Miami as part of the biggest trade in NBA history (13 players).

With the Grizzlies, Williams averaged 11 points, 2.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists. This may have been his best stat line with any team, but J-Will was just entering his prime. He went on to win a championship with the Heat the year after he was traded.

He would re-sign with the Grizzlies during the 2010-11 season after being waived by Orlando. After dealing with injuries and being left off the Grizzlies’ playoff roster, though, Williams decided to call it a career and retire.

Jan 31, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) looks to make a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 31, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) looks to make a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

4. DeMarre Carroll

Ok, you might be scratching your head. You may not know him, remember him playing for the Grizzlies or don’t know why he’s on this list.

I assure you that there’s a valid reason.

While playing in parts of two seasons in Memphis to start his career, Carroll only averaged 10 minutes per game. After only playing in 12 games in his second season, he ended up being traded to Houston to bring back Shane Battier.

Fast forward a few seasons, and Carroll salvaged the opportunity to start for a contending Atlanta Hawks. With a healthy supply of minutes, Carroll averaged 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 47.8% from the field. He also used his athleticism and hustle to play solid defense, earning the nickname “The Junkyard Dog.”

After two years in Atlanta he signed a multi-year deal with Toronto in 2015-16 and helped lead the Raptors to their first series win in 15 years. Although he has battled injuries, he’s averaging a consistent 10 points, four rebounds and 1.4 steals.

The Grizz have had consistency issues at the Small Forward position in recent years. It makes me wonder how Carroll would’ve performed had Memphis kept him around.

Nov 18, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) drives to the basket past Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 18, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) drives to the basket past Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3. Seth Curry

Ok so his success might be the most recent and short-lived, but you cannot tell me the Grizz wouldn’t kill to have a playmaking guard like Seth Curry on their roster right now.

Although not as well known as his brother Steph Curry, Seth has proven to be quite the shooter himself.

After going undrafted in 2013, Memphis signed Curry for all of 12 days before releasing him. In fact, he didn’t score a single point in all of four minutes.

Now that he’s gotten a chance to play in Dallas, I kind of wish that he would’ve stayed.

Averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting 42% from beyond the arc, Curry seems to get better as time goes on.

With his defense steadily improving and the Grizzlies need for a solid backup PG, keeping Seth around may have been in the Grizzlies best interest.

Jan 30, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Miami Heat defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 30, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Miami Heat defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2. Hassan Whiteside

Now here’s a current star player that you may have never realized even played for Memphis at one point.

Back in 2014, Memphis actually signed and waived Whiteside on two separate occasions. After the second time, Whiteside went on to sign with the Miami Heat. What has happened since then seems to be a surprise to everyone.

After signing with the Heat, Whiteside went on to average 11.8 points, 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game off of the bench. The following season, he lead all of the NBA with 3.7 blocks per game.

This season, Whiteside has established himself as one of the most dominant centers in the game. In 33 minutes per game, Whiteside is averaging 16.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and two blocks per game.

Immaturity aside, there’s nobody in their right mind that wouldn’t want that kind of production on their team. Could you imagine Gasol and Whiteside on the court at the same time? Memphis would easily have the most intimidating frontcourt in the NBA.

Come back Hassan. We may not need you, but damn we’d love to have you.

1. Kyle Lowry

This may not be that much of a surprise. Kyle Lowry has gone from being underutilized PG in Memphis to becoming a three-time All-Star, member of 2015-16 All-NBA Third Team and one of the best points guards in the league.

In 2009, Lowry was part of a three-team trade that sent him to Houston and landed Memphis Adonal Foyle, Mike Wilks and a first-round pick that ended up being DeMarre Carroll (irony, right. Editor’s note: this trade is so bad that it made me cry a little bit). Since that trade, Lowry has gotten exponentially better each season.

Once he joined the Toronto Raptors in 2012-13, Lowry really grew in to his own. He has averaged 18.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Although I love Mike Conley and wouldn’t want anyone else as the floor general for this squad, the thought of Lowry and Conley together is intriguing. A lineup consisting of Conley, Lowry, Allen, Randolph and Gasol would be a nightmare matchup for any team.

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