Jerryd Bayless

Season Stats (With the Raptors only): 60 GP, 22.4 MPG, 10 PPG, 42.9 FG%, 34.8 3PT% 81 FT%, 4 APG, 2.5 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 1.83 TO

Career Stats: 198 GP, 17.4 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 41 FG%, 32.1 3PT%, 81.7 FT%, 2.6 APG, 1.7 RPG, 0.4 SPG, 1.4 TO

When the Raptors traded Jarrett Jack and David Andersen to the Hornets in the early part of the season, I was disappointed that Jack’s valuable contract made him more movable than Jose Calderon. I also thought it would be nice to see a three-point legend, Peja Stojakovic, dawn a Raptors jersey.

But the thing that made the trade a no-doubter for me was the acquisition of Jerryd Bayless. I’ve always been high on Bayless, and still believe that he can be a starting point guard on a good team for years to come.

Despite the fact that Bayless had appeared in 138 games, and started in 11 of those, over two-plus seasons in Portland and New Orleans, the truth was that he had never really been given a tremendous opportunity in terms of minutes played. When he was given that opportunity, he definitely raised some eyebrows in a Blazers uniform.

Sure, most still saw him as a raw young guard that shot too much to be a point guard and was too small to be a shooting guard, but those same sceptics also knew that if he could figure it out, Bayless could be a star in the making.

His opportunity to break out and shine arrived in the form of a trade to Toronto, where Bayless was paired with one of the youngest teams in the league during a rebuilding year, even if Bryan Colangelo wasn’t admitting that much at the time.

Bayless probably didn’t have the immediate impact some Raptors fans were hoping for, and spent most of the season playing behind a better than expected Jose Calderon. However, there were nights throughout the season, like during the Raptors’ franchise-record comeback in Detroit and their undermanned win in Dallas, where Bayless showed the type of poise, swagger and leadership that still has some hopeful of the Arizona product’s NBA future.

I won’t sugar-coat things – Jerryd definitely struggled at times. He especially struggled with trying to adapt to being a pure point guard rather than a shoot-first guard. But he also showed some positive signs of being a great passer and making good decisions while driving through the heart of the defense in the latter part of the season.

Not to mention, Bayless is the first Raptors point guard in years who truly understands the importance of perimeter defense. And as we’ve learned painfully with other Raptors guards over the years, that’s not exactly something you can teach a guy.

Bayless’ shooting numbers rose slightly with the Raptors, but I won’t pretend he shot the ball well enough to warrant him earning extra field goal attempts. What I will say is that Bayless is most effective when he is aggressive and drives to the basket, thus allowing him to either convert easier baskets, draw fouls, or find an open teammate. In addition, while shooting 34.8 per cent from three-point range isn’t spectacular, Bayless did provide signs of developing into an above-average three-point threat.

To be honest, my biggest problem with Bayless’ first season as a Raptor is that he didn’t get enough of an opportunity or enough playing time, especially considering this season was supposed to be about a youth movement. When he finally got that opportunity towards the end of the season, the 22-year-old Bayless responded in impressive fashion.

Over the final eight games of the season, Bayless logged over 37 minutes per game and scored at least 19 points in each of those games. He averaged 22.5 points on 48 per cent shooting, including 41 per cent three-point shooting, adding 5.6 assists and a steal per game for good measure.

It would be silly to assume that just because Bayless finished this season with a bang, he is automatically going to carry that over into a great second season for the Raptors. However, it is just as foolish to simply dismiss Bayless’ final eight games when we’re talking about a 22-year-old who still has plenty of time and room to grow.

This is a feisty, incredibly competitive and seemingly mature young man who brings the type of fire that Raptors fans have been yearning for quite some time. He appears to have the right attitude to succeed, and also appears to enjoy playing in Toronto.

No one can guarantee that Jerryd Bayless will live up to his potential or even come close to it, but at 22-years-old there isn’t much risk to keeping him around and seeing what he becomes. The potential benefits of Bayless’ ceiling far outweigh any risk involved in committing to him next season.

Of course, things could change drastically should the Raptors land Kyrie Irving in the draft or should they acquire a star point-guard in a trade. But if Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless return next season as the Raptors’ point guard combination, then Jerryd Bayless has to be the starter, alongside the Raptors’ other young athletes.

Scott Carefoot’s take on Jerryd Bayless:

It struck me that local media and fans were somewhat dismissive of Jerryd Bayless’ strong finish. I say this because it doesn’t seem like everyone is on board with the idea of Bayless taking over the starting point guard role for the Raptors next season. Sure, you can pinpoint flaws in his game — particularly his questionable decision-making with the ball and his shaky jumper — but when a 22-year-old has an eight-game run like Bayless had to close out the season, I pay attention. Granted, he has some maturing to do in terms of trusting his teammates more and being smarter with his shot selection, but I think he’s earned the right to show us if he can make those improvements while playing 30-plus minutes per game.

Next up in our list of player evaluations is Jose Calderon, with that post coming later this week. Until then, debate the future of Jerryd Bayless in Toronto.

Comments (18)

  1. If the Raps get lucky and land the #1 spot, I think they should take Irving which means Bayless is either out (if Calderon is still here) or comes off the bench. Otherwise, I’m fine with seeing what Bayless can do next season, where he should be given the chance to start given the youth movement. I don’t think Walker or Knight are upgrades, and the team needs to focus more on getting a true 5 and improving the 3 spot.

    I don’t love what I saw from Bayless as a PG. He can score, no doubt, and has potential as a good defensive player, but I’m doubtful he’ll ever run a team the way I like my PGs to run a team. I appreciate the passion, but his body language also rubs me the wrong way. Still, it’s a crime that he didn’t get more PT last season, especially after the trade deadline when there was no excuse for “showcasing” Calderon.

  2. If the Raptors draft Irving or Knight, I don’t think you throw either one of them into the starting job right away until they show something first in backup minutes. Calderon is the one who needs to be shipped out (if possible) in that scenario.

  3. Why are people overrating Irving so much? The dude hardly played in college this year. What makes you think he can pull out 80+ games as a starter on an NBA team all of a sudden? I’d trust Bayless much more than Irving at this point.

  4. Meagan: I’m with you. While Irving is most likely the best prospect in this draft, we have no idea how NBA-ready he is. Furthermore, if Bayless was a rookie and finished the season the way he did, I bet Raptors fans would be freaking out. Obviously he’s not a rookie, but he wasn’t far off at just 22 years old.

  5. Bayless or no, I’m definitely ready to see the Calderon era come to an end…

  6. I don’t mind Bayless acting like an ass-hat, as long as he can play his role well and to back it up consistently, and not get injured seriously.

    Jose lost his ability to drive for layups, which was the reason that he had a propelled FG% in the past, and it’s looking to me he is degraded goods now, with an obnoxious contract.

  7. Damn good article if you ask me.

  8. Hahahh bros diss ahticle is gabage. Why u allow to even write on line.

    Jaron Baylos offen turnover, shoot poor, we need ta think bout trade Baylos, Weem, even puss Regae Even

    Scodd Cafoot blog offen sucks bros, we always read his gabage back in the crib and he and Horly Mackenie seem most like the poor yogurt on da bread truck- always want the dance but too much on tha yeast! Right bros!

  9. Accurate assessment of Bayless’ abilities.

    I’m totally with Scott and anyone else that’s not on the Kyrie Irving bandwagon.

    With that said, we do need someone who can create a shot for themselves or others, or a banger. We get powend inside all the time, and our offense is so stagnant.

    My opinion, and keeping with my opinion, @Overeem learn how to spell “bro”, you look like an asshole.

  10. I assume Over-ream was meant as a “joke”. But joke or no, he was a pretty good argument for filtering.

  11. Hahah bros first it’s Leaonard Barbs get in trouble town for the milkings, then Regae offen fall and break he face and feets, now this Baylos talking like achamp!

    me think Score must hate raptas anyways!! Scroe have no Raptas games televisioned this year! that they own fault, always hate on TV, they only have like 3 blonde most touchable shanty vixens on they team, like only hot concubine but like no talent!

    them always hate Bargany and love in steam bath stretch out all playa like Amir Johns and Derizon!

  12. I’m guessing you wanted to see Peja “don” a Raptor’s jersey. “Dawn” is what happens when the sun comes up.

  13. Whats with all the trolls?

  14. It’s 1 troll who’s channeling Jar-Jar Binks. Bo-ring.
    Is there any bad contract that’s shorter than Calderon’s that he could be traded for, where the incoming player might actually be of use?
    What are the chances of a “complete” blow-up (aka trading Calderon & Bargs) for anything? Not that I would expect that (and frankly Colangelo has been able to pull crazy shit off out of nowhere), I’m just curious if that’s something that’s going to be looked at in the off-season?

  15. hahhah my bros come on man, we all no dat teh Score hate basketsballs! They got no on the TV games other those 2 looser dude skinhair and Sid Tim! just all the time talkins about the funny face and funny shirt!

    Yo my bros but right serious Renay Parket who on the wrestle showtime must be good for the tv times! she should join raptor team, maybe hand off to Leonard Barbs for the milkings! Leonard make the milk spicings! Hahha you guys must agree that

    Lexomatic , sounds like back in thev village me mudda often say to dee boys” don mess with them no milk having ox, it always make like a whinings canary!”

    keep whinings!

  16. Irving would have a been a top pick coming into the year. He missed some games, but its not like its an injury that really worries you going forward (a toe, not a knee). And when he played he was a 50-40-90 guy on one of the best teams in the nation. What’s not to like.

    And this is coming for a guy who hates Duke

  17. [" If the Raptors draft Irving or Knight, I don’t think you throw either one of them into the starting job right away until they show something first in backup minutes. Calderon is the one who needs to be shipped out (if possible) in that scenario. "]

    Couldn’t disagree more. At least in respect to an Irving draft. Jose is the perfect option (in keeping), because he can start the season, while Kyrie gets his feet wet. JC would be a better mentor, as he’ll know the (hoped for) conclusion. And in 2 years, Calderon could become (at a much better price), the perfect back-up.

    As for Jarryd, he would battle first, help second. JB wants the top job, and Raptors have had two many PG controversies for my liking. That’s why Bayless would be the worst teacher of the existing two PGs.

  18. deal jared and jc away is time to build the backcourt through the draft

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