Memphis Grizzlies: Javaris Crittenton Benefitted from Leaving the Lakers

Jason OSenior Analyst IMarch 29, 2008

When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, they parted with forward-center Kwame Brown, rookie point guard Javaris Crittenton, the rights to Pau's younger brother, Marc Gasol, and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010.

All the talk was how Gasol would benefit from being on a winning team, and how the Lakers would benefit from having an All-Star power forward.

But people forgot about young point guard Javaris Crittenton.

Crittenton, a twenty-year-old 6'5" point guard, was the 19th pick in the first round of last year's draft and was said to have a lot of potential.

Phil Jackson has never been one to give rookies a lot of minutes and Crittenton was no exception.

When he got on the court, he averaged 3.3 points, 0.8 assists, 0.9 rebounds, 33% from three, and 49% from the field in 7.9 minutes.

Since the trade, Javaris has played in 23 games for the Grizzlies, averaging 16.6 minutes, 6.9 points, 1 assist, 2.7 rebounds, 21% from three, and 40% from the field.

With increased minutes come increased shot attempts, which have resulted in a decrease in his shooting percentage from 49 percent to 40 percent. However, he is a tall point guard and is becoming a good rebounder.  

Most people thought Crittenton would get even less playing time in Memphis than he did in LA, playing behind Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry, but when given his opportunities he has taken them and played well.

On February 29th, Javaris posted a career-high 22 points on 9-19 shooting.

While the trade provided Crittenton with an advantage, it hasn't been quite as good for Kwame Brown, who has played in just 13 games since going to Memphis.

If Crittenton continues to improve at this rate, he could become a well-rounded player and have a large effect on the league in the not too distant future.