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NBA Draft 2012: Can Tony Wroten Jr. Replace O.J. Mayo's Scoring in 2012-13?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Tony Wroten #14 of the Washington Huskies drives to the basket against Derrick Wilson #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Tom FirmeAnalyst IISeptember 16, 2016

The Memphis Grizzlies needed to find a good scorer to replace O.J. Mayo with the No. 25 pick. They found a nifty guy in Tony Wroten. The Grizzlies will be looking for production early from Wroten, but it's hard to say that he'll give Mayo's numbers quickly.

Wroten has the aggression and the motor to be a strong scorer right away for the Grizzlies. He averaged 12.8 field-goal attempts and 7.5 free-throw attempts per game in 2011-12.

He scored plenty for the Washington Huskies. The Seattle native averaged 16 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting.

However, the question is whether he can refine his skills in time to help the Grizzlies move past the point where the team was last year as the No. 4 team in the West.

The problem is that Wroten has Jeremy Lin Syndrome. The 19-year-old 2-guard goes only one direction effectively. While he is fantastic driving to his left, he struggles miserably driving to the right. Also, as his DraftExpress.com profile notes, he showed inconsistent mechanics in his year at Washington and had trouble pulling up for mid-range jumpers.

This resulted in an average of 3.8 turnovers per game for Wroten.

Also, he isn't much of a three-point shooter, having hit just 18.8 percent of his three-point attempts.

Hence, his game is largely limited to driving to the bucket on the left side at this point.

That doesn't mean Wroten can't make it or can't make a significant impact in his rookie year. At 6'6" and 203 pounds, the Garfield High School alumnus is big enough to be a strong driver in the pros.

His speed and athleticism will key his ability to make up for his one-dimensional style going to the hole.

Indeed, Wroten will need to show at least to some extent that he has learned to broaden his game in his first year with the Grizzlies. He'll have to work with teammates to learn to maintain form and ball control as he drives to the rack. Also, learning the art of jump shooting will help him become less predictable.

The Grizzlies will be counting upon Wroten to replace at least some of Mayo's scoring. Mayo averaged 12.6 of their 95 points (13.3 percent). That's a significant portion for a reserve. Memphis can't simply expect Tony Allen and others to make up the difference. They'll be looking for Wroten to fill Mayo's role as a bench scorer.

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