The lifting of the NBA’s moratorium as of midnight today means that all signings, re-signings and trades that went down before July 11 can finally become official, which means a guy like Kyle Lowry should be an official Raptor soon enough (if he isn’t already by the time you read this) and the Knicks will now have three days to match the three-year offer sheet to Landry Fields.

One of the new developments that emerged almost immediately after midnight is that Jerryd Bayless has agreed to a new contract with the Grizzlies.

You’ll remember that on Friday, the Raptors rescinded their qualifying offer to Bayless, making him an unrestricted free agent, which meant that Toronto had no right to match any offers for the 23-year-old guard.

Bayless will likely back up point guard Mike Conley in Memphis, but with O.J. Mayo’s expected departure, he should also get a good look as a combo guard off of the bench. In short, the opportunity for Bayless to finally stick with a franchise should be there if he can find a way to grab it and run with it.

I know a lot of Raptors fans (or at least a lot of the ones I’ve argued with) thought of Bayless as an inefficient ball hog, but if you’ve read RaptorBlog over the last year or so, you’ll know that Scott and I were big supporters of his. He struggled with consistency early in his Raptors career and couldn’t stay healthy in 2011-2012, playing in just 31 of 66 games, but Bayless showed plenty of promise in stretches and had some flashes of brilliance.

Most notably, an eight-game stretch to finish the 2010-11 season where he started all eight games and averaged 22.5 points on over 48 per cent shooting, and a similar six-game stretch in March of last season where he averaged 20 points on over 50 per cent shooting to go along with seven assists per game.

Obviously these were extremely small sample sizes, but I still feel a 23-year-old who has averaged about 16 points and six assists per 36 minutes in his career and shot over 42 per cent from three-point range last season has a lot to offer, and now my worry is that another team and its fan base are going to reap the benefits.

Bayless was a tough competitor on the court, seemed to genuinely love playing in Toronto and was a class act when we had him on with us for an episode of RaptorBlog Radio. I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m happy he’s found another opportunity and hope the best for him, but as a Raptors fan, I also hope he doesn’t become “the one that got away,” no matter how selfish that sounds.

Good luck, Jerryd…sort of.

Comments (15)

  1. I really wanted to keep bayless as a backup pg/sg. Doesnt make sense to give up on a player that young who can shoot that well and drive to the rim. Dumb move by colangelo and co.

  2. There’s still plenty of time for Bayless to “get it”, like Chauncey Billups did several years after entering the league. Considering how many guys in the league respect Bayless’s game, I would not be surprised if it did happen in the next couple of years. But who knows?

  3. It’s pretty interesting how differently most Raptor fans interpret Andrea Bargnani’s 13 game stretch of HISTORIC DOMINATION compared to Bayless’ various stretches as a starter over the last two seasons, isn’t it?

    Even if you don’t like the player, it’s still terrible asset management by Colangelo to simply let him walk for nothing when the market for PGs had dwindled pretty fast over the first week of free agency. I hope he plays well in Memphis.

    On a more general note concerning the handling of young players, I know people are pumped for Val/Ross, but seeing how Casey handled Bayless, the Johnsons and Davis last year, shouldn’t we at least be a little concerned about what he’ll do to Val/Ross this upcoming season? I’m terrified for them.

    • I have the exact same thoughts about letting him go for nothing when there a some teams desperate for PGs at this point, especially to Memphis if there’s any truth at all the BC is looking at Gay.

  4. LOL, also enjoying Scott going nuts on Twitter about this.

    • I’ve calmed down a bit today. I’m conflicted though because part of me wants to root for him and watch him succeed, but I also feel like it would be bad for my sanity if he develops into the player I think he’s capable of being.

  5. jarreyd bayless “THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY” ha i fart in your general direction bayless is a hapless point garde a ball hog and not a pass first player next season he will be in eroupe

  6. I was excited about Bayless when we got him, but he isn’t going to be the one who got away. When Bayless had the ball, everybody on his team stopped moving, because they knew he wasn’t going to pass it unless and until he got into trouble. He’s not a point guard, and isn’t big or strong enough to play the 2.

  7. BC’s bad deal with Jose bites us in the ass again. I also wanted to keep Bayless as the backup to Lowry. But I’m OK with one last year of Jose.

    I’d ignore any end of season run stats as a starter – as teams were tanking, AND playing off of Bayless as well. But I still like him and see lots of potential. Good Luck bay boy.

    PS, at least Bargs run was when the games still mattered – not that I believe he will come back and play at that level for a whole season or anything. I’d move him if the right offer came along. Don’t love him, don’t hate him.

  8. Love Bayless, he competes. Sad that he was let go for nothing, I’m a bit disappointed.

    I wish him all the best in Memphis.

  9. Very mixed feelings on this one…On the one hand, I laugh at all the Raps reporters and those in management who seem to really value the trio of Bargs, Calderon and DD, even though those 3 have produced jack shit on the court together in 3 seasons. And Bayless is 23 for fuck’s sake. How does anyone say with any certainty what he is or is not in the NBA? How do people so casually dismiss all the stats that are so favourable?

    On the other hand, I also trust my eyes, and I never liked watching him play that much. I don’t like the way he runs the team, I don’t like his body language, and I personally doubt he is well suited for anything other than a Barbosa type role. He can absolutely be a good scorer in this league, but he’s too small to defend most SGs and I don’t like him as a PG. Not sure how much value that type of player has.

    Still, he competes extremely hard and loved TO. He’s 23 and put up promising numbers. Letting him go for nothing while eternally holding on to players like Calderon doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

  10. … Aaron Brooks?

  11. I served a drink to Bayless at a theatre I worked at. He tipped me a dollar. Just fine.

    His mother accompanied him to the play, she bought a drink off of me later in the show, she tipped five dollars.

    I don’t know what to make of this but it’s worth mentioning.

  12. So over it already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *