It’s Halloween, a time of year when spooks and scares are all the rage. Though some may lean into things such as supernatural tales to get themselves in the holiday spirit, we at BSB are getting enough freight already from the 0-4 start to the 2023-24 season for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Though basketball may be a mere sport, many differing aspects of the game could be enough to send shivers down one’s spine.
Across the NBA alone, all active franchises have endured their fair share of horrors in one way or another throughout their existence, and, in a recently published piece by Bleacher Report, writer Zach Buckley pointed out how the Grizzlies have been responsible for several harrowing ordeals, one in which that still seems to be “haunting” a legitimate championship favorite.
The topic of discussion: the decision by the Boston Celtics to trade Desmond Bane directly after selecting him with the 30 pick back in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Grizzlies acquisition of Desmond Bane back in 2020 still ‘haunting’ Celtics
Stocked with three total first-round selections during the illustrious June event, the Celtics had already opted to nab wing Aaron Nesmith and guard Payton Pritchard with the 14 and 26 picks, respectively, before Bane was scooped up.
As noted in the piece, had Boston kept all of the aforementioned talents in tow it would have “nudged them closer to the luxury tax,” so, in turn, they decided to ship the former TCU standout to the Grizzlies for a pair of future second-round picks, which, as Buckley stated, is a move that they’ve “surely been kicking themselves ever since.”
“Bane’s career trajectory has essentially been an arrow pointing all the way up. He finished in second place (to teammate Ja Morant) in the voting for 2021-22’s Most Improved Player award, then effectively upped the ante across the board this past season while averaging 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He is already on All-Star watch this season,” Buckley wrote.
“Nesmith, meanwhile, lasted just two seasons in Boston before being sent to the Indiana Pacers in the July 2022 trade for Malcolm Brogdon. Pritchard is still a Celtic, but this season looks like the first in which he’ll be entrusted with a full-time role in the rotation.”
Throughout his four-year career in the association, Bane has only continued to improve upon his game with every passing season.
During last year’s campaign, even while suffering from a nagging toe injury that required offseason surgery, the guard still went on to post, then, career-best averages of 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from deep.
As a result of this production, Bane earned himself a lucrative new contract with the Grizzlies that will keep him around through at least the 2028-29 season.
Now, during these early stages of his follow-up campaign, despite their winless start the newly-minted $207 million man has only seemed to raise his game to another level, as he’s boasting stellar averages of 25.5 points, 4.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game while converting on a highly efficient 48.7 percent of his shot attempts.
At just 25 years old, Bane has established himself as one of the game’s best young backcourt talents on both ends of the floor and already has many believing his first All-Star nod could be right around the corner.
Missing out on this type of production would make almost any team in the league upset, especially one like the Celtics that actively worked to rid themselves of it before ever getting a real taste.
For both fans and members of the franchise, the “what could have been” mentality when it comes to Bane is one that will undoubtedly make the skin crawl.