Jerryd Bayless Can Save Memphis Grizzlies Bench After Loss of O.J. Mayo

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIJuly 11, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 26:  Jerryd Bayless #5 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against Ramon Sessions #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena on December 26, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Jerryd Bayless will be everything O.J Mayo was for the Memphis Grizzlies and more. With Mayo on the way out, the Grizzlies desperately needed a scorer who could carry bench production.

They have a wonderful aide to fill the void in Bayless, who they signed, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal tweeted.

Mayo was the only reliable bench scorer for the Grizzlies in 2011-12. He averaged 12.6 points in 26.8 minutes per game. He scored in double figures in 47 of 66 games.

However, he wasn't a very efficient shooter. He needed 11.2 field-goal attempts and 2.4 free-throw attempts per game to get to his 12.6 average.

He shot a pedestrian 40.8 percent from the field and a decent 77.3 percent from the line. His 36 percent from three-point range was nice.

However, Bayless tops him in all scoring rates in 2011-12. He shot 42.4 percent from the field, 42.3 percent from downtown and 85.2 percent from the line in 31 games for the Toronto Raptors. Also, his per 36-minute average was 18 points per game, 1.1 better than Mayo.

Bayless missed much of the season due to injury. He tore his left oblique muscle in late March, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season.

While the injury could see him taking some time for recovery during the offseason, Bayless should be in good condition when the season begins.

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey told the Calgary Sun that Bayless has considerable amount to go, but fits the sixth man role well.

Casey said, "He's got a niche in this league where you can look at James Harden in Oklahoma City and Jason Terry (two great scorers who can handle the ball)."

Bryan Colangelo's praise of Bayless' mindset can lead Grizzlies to believe that he can take the next step after struggling with injuries and inconsistencies handling the ball in his first four pro seasons. Colangelo said, "[Bayless] works his tail off, he's professional, he approaches the game...the right way."

Others on the Grizzlies' bench aren't sure bets to turn the corner this season. Quincy Pondexter averaged just 4.2 points per game in his second season. Josh Selby has good scoring potential, but he didn't play enough to show that he'll be a threat next season.

Memphis can be fairly certain that Bayless can come through. He's shown a promising ability to shoot from different spots on the floor. He can make plays with the ball. This signing goes a long way to firming up the team's bench.