Does Mike Bibby Have Anything Left to Offer Memphis Grizzlies?

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIDecember 17, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06:  Joel Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat fights for control of a loose ball in the first half against Mike Bibby #20 of the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 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 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Mike Bibby is itching for another shot in the NBA, and he is taking his chances at returning to his first team, the Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Lionel Hollins doesn't have any need to find out what Bibby would do coming off the Grizzlies bench in a 15th season: Bibby couldn't do anything to make up for what Jerryd Bayless doesn't do.

According to The Commercial Appeal, the 34-year-old Bibby worked out Wednesday for the Grizzlies, which drafted him second overall in 1998. The report stated that the Grizz weren't close to signing him at the time.

Hopefully, Chris Wallace and John Hollinger aren't any closer now.

The belief is if Bibby were to join the Grizz, he could run the point and Bayless, who isn't as much of a classic point guard as the veteran, could play off the ball.

Unfortunately, Bibby isn't as adept as he once was at facilitating an offense. The past three seasons, he wasn't very involved in the offenses of his teams, averaging 3.9 assists per game in 2009-10, 3.3 in 2010-11 and 2.1 in 2011-12.

He also suffered precipitous drops in his usage rate. He was active in only 16.1 percent of plays in which he played in 2009-10, 14.6 percent in 2010-11 and 11.9 percent in 2011-12.

He was much less involved in recent years than during his prime years with the Sacramento Kings, when he was active in between 21.9 and 25.4 percent of plays.

Because he wasn't involved in so many plays, he was much less likely to have an impact on the offense.

Having said that, Bibby likely won't light a fire for the Grizzlies' second unit since he won't touch the ball enough to have a significant impact.

One idea that should be dissuaded is that the arrival of Bibby would drop Bayless in the depth chart. ESPN 92.9 FM Memphis personality Chris Vernon opened this line via Twitter:


Grizz working out Mike Bibby lets me know that Lionel wanting to throw Bayless in the "Lionel Hollins backup PG trash bin"He will join...

— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) December 13, 2012


Hollins isn't one to instantly award a particular spot on the roster to any player—guys must earn their way up the depth chart. See Gilbert Arenas last year. Arenas sat out his first game to become familiar with the offense before seeing 12 minutes of action in his first appearance.

He played 15 minutes in five of nine games before receding, mostly due to injury.

During the playoffs, Arenas hardly played. He saw just 21 minutes of action in six games, taking eight shots. Any privileged position that might have been awarded for his career achievements didn't come along.

The same goes for Bibby. He won't be placed as the second-string point guard simply because he started for 13 seasons and has played 101 playoff games.

Speaking of which, Grizzlies fans hoping that Bibby's veteran presence and three-point shooting ability could help the team in the postseason should be forewarned. Last season, he played nicely in the New York Knicks' first-round series loss to the Miami Heat, hitting 7-of-17 from long range.

However, he's generally not that great in the playoffs. The hard-driving floor general shot 35 percent in five of his 10 playoff appearances.

He pushed the scoring in his five playoff runs with the Kings, but turned it over at an uncharacteristic rate in the last three. From 2003-04 to 2005-06, he turned it over 2.9, 2.6 and 3.0 times per game, respectively.

If he were to don the three shades of blue, Bibby wouldn't score nearly as much as he did while running with Chris Webber. He'd be called upon to hit one or two timely threes.

Considering his inconsistency knocking down treys in the playoffs, one can hardly tell if he'd be reliable playing that role in five- or 10-minute bursts for Memphis.

Also, the Grizzlies don't need a bench guy who would hurt a unit that already doesn't do very well defensively. The team gives up significantly more scoring with Marreese Speights, Quincy Pondexter or Jerryd Bayless on the floor. With Speights in, the Grizz allow 9.1 more points per 100 possessions.

When Pondexter is on the floor, they allow 13 more per 100 possessions. Bayless' presence sees the team allowing 6.5 more per 100 possessions.

Bibby wouldn't do anything to change that. He has allowed a horrid 108 points per 100 possessions in his career. Last season was an outlier, as he allowed 103 per 100 possessions, only the third time he allowed 105 or fewer.

Eight times he's allowed 110 or more points per 100 possessions.

Signing Bibby would make it even more difficult for the Grizzlies to hold their opponents in check when the starters are resting.

If any fans of the "grit 'n' grind" would like a sentimental signing of a former Grizzlies player, Bibby wouldn't be the guy. He ran the offense at a time when the team was in the basement.

Since he had hardly developed in his three years in Vancouver, the Arizona product couldn't capture people's attention as they vacillated over Bryant Reeves and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Looking at Bibby on the other end of his career, he doesn't give anything that justifies signing him.


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