5 second-year NBA players ready for a breakout season

Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

3. player. Scouting Report. SG. Memphis Grizzlies. Pick Analysis. Desmond Bane. 211

Desmond Bane’s growth gives the Memphis Grizzlies a shot at the division

Don’t look now, but yes, there is a real possibility the Memphis Grizzlies win the Southwest Division this year. They have a good head coach in Taylor Jenkins, an emerging superstar in Ja Morant and one second-year player who just lit it up in the Summer League in shooting guard Desmond Bane. Only the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans are playoff viable.

As with Pritchard, Bane is an older second-year player. Interestingly enough, he was drafted by the Celtics with the last pick of the first round, but was then traded to Memphis. As a rookie, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 22.3 minutes per contest. Memphis has a young core and one that seems to have no issue with taking on the world under Jenkins.

When it comes to the Southwest Division, everybody talks incessantly about Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson, but there is a decent chance Memphis is the best team in it this season. For that to happen, Bane will need to play like he did in Las Vegas to emerge as a great complementary piece to Morant. How he gels with the Memphis point guard will go a long way for him this NBA season.

Bane has the chance to be the bane of some Western Conference contender’s existence in 2022.