Memphis, TN -- During the off-season the Grizzlies have made some changes that they hope will help boost their chances of making it to the next level. One of those changes was parting with O.J. Mayo. Mayo, the third pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, brought a lot of skill and scoring to the Grizzlies' backcourt, however, the team's brass either didn't have what it took to keep Mayo out of the free agent market, or they just weren't willing to fork over what Mayo was asking for in order for him to return to the team. As a result, the Grizzlies' went searching the free agent market for someone who could help fill the void left after Mayo's departure, and they did so in the form of Jerryd Bayless.
Bayless, the 11th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, is coming to the Grizzlies hoping for a fresh start. "I was excited about the situation," said Bayless. "Obviously, the Grizzlies have had some major success the last couple of years." Being with a successful team is not something Bayless has been accustomed to the past few seasons. Bayless, who will make his fourth stop in the league with the Memphis Grizzlies, has been to the playoffs twice; both times with Portland, the team that drafted him. In his young NBA career, he has also made stops in New Orleans and Toronto. Last season with the Raptors, he played in 31 games logging 22.7 minutes, while scoring 11.4 points, grabbing 2.1 rebounds, and dishing 3.8 assists, per game. He is expecting to bring that same type of production and more to the Grizzlies.
"It’s the same thing, I'm just going to try to do whatever I can do to help this team winning," Bayless said with confidence. "I'm real excited about being here and hopefully we can go as far as we can this year."
Bayless says he's pleased with his new NBA home. "I think the organization is great so far," Bayless said. "From the little time I've been here, its been wonderful." He has spoken to some of his new teammates and he says they have embraced him with open arms. Some of his new grit and grind family members were familiar faces to him from an earlier point in his basketball career. "I've talked to a lot of them and they've all welcomed me here," Bayless exclaimed with a sound of comfort. "I know a lot of them from being around the league and from AAU when I was younger."
Does he feel he still has something to prove? "I feel like I always have something to prove," he said. Bayless added he doesn't feel any pressure to try to fill the voids the Grizzlies have, and he wants to make this a permanent home. "I'm just happy they came my way, I'm just going to do the best I can," Bayless said. "Hopefully I'm here for a long time."