Grind City Media 2016/17 Exit Interview: Troy Daniels pt. 1
Daniels 2016/17 Exit Interviews playlist
MikeCheck: Grizzlies Offseason Outlook – Troy Daniels
By Michael Wallace
Grind City Media
MEMPHIS – What’s next for the Memphis Grizzlies?
Who stays? Who goes?
How will the Grit’N’Grind era continue to evolve?
Those questions and more face the Grizzlies as they embark on an offseason destined for change after their seventh consecutive playoff trip ended in a six-game series loss to the Spurs in the opening round. There’s plenty of optimism moving forward. There’s also clearly something most fans, players, coaches and executives agree on: 43 wins, a No. 7 seed in the playoffs and a first-round exit aren’t good enough.
Over a stretch of 17 weekdays, we’ll dive into our ‘Offseason Outlook’ series that breaks down my personal analysis as to where each player on the Grizzlies’ roster stands, in addition to coach David Fizdale and general manager Chris Wallace, entering a potentially pivotal offseason.
Player: Troy Daniels, 25
Measurables: 6-4, 205 – 4th NBA Season
2016-17 Stats: 8.2ppg (career high), 1.5rpg (career high), 17.7 mpg (career high), 39.8 3pt-FG%
Status: Due $3.4 million for 2017-18 salary in second season of three-year deal.
Daniels finished third in the NBA in three-pointers made off the bench this past season, trailing only Houston’s Eric Gordon and Lou Williams. Daniels’ 134 made treys also broke Mike Miller’s Memphis franchise record for three-pointers by a reserve. He also set a team record for points in a half from a backup player when he scored 23 of his career-high 31 in the first half of a Dec. 3 win against the Lakers.
Every season, you’re going to have your ups and downs … I would call it mediocre. Maybe my agent or somebody else will say I had a great season just because of so many career highs that I’ve had. But with those career highs, there came opportunity and (coach David Fizdale) gave me opportunity. I appreciate that and I’m really looking forward to these next years to come.
The Grizzlies have been searching forever for the kind of three-point firepower Troy Daniels provided off the bench. He joined Mike Conley, Vince Carter and Marc Gasol as the team’s only players to drain at least 100 triples, which propelled Memphis from perennially near the bottom of the league in three-point shooting up to the middle of the pack this past season. Although his playing time fluctuated, Daniels was a microwave-type presence who ranked third on the team in plus-minus rating behind Conley and Carter. He scored in double figures 23 times, including seven games with at least 20, and has made it futile for opponents to double-team Conley and/or Gasol when Daniels spots up beyond the arc.
There were several games – and sometimes weeks – when Daniels either played sparingly or vanished completely from the rotation for a couple of reasons. First, his relative lack of size and speed made it difficult for Daniels to adequately defend either guard position. Secondly, he struggled to create off the dribble and facilitate offense, which rendered him a one-dimensional threat on the floor as Memphis desperately sought to alleviate some of the playmaking burden from Conley’s shoulders. Daniels made incremental progress as both a system defender and a facilitator late in the season, but he still needs to make more strides in those areas to cement a role in the nightly rotation moving forward.
The Grizzlies placed a premium on shooting when they targeted three-point specialists in free agency last season. While the high-priced Chandler Parsons experiment fizzled in his first season because of knee issues, Daniels delivered the goods at an encouraging rate from beyond the arc at what should be considered an economic bargain. The mission is to get Parsons healthy this summer whereas the priority for Daniels should be to expand his game and return as a more versatile playmaker. He’s already established a chemistry with Conley on and off the court during his first season here. Having bounced around to four teams in as many NBA season, continuity will be key in Daniels’ development.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by Michael Wallace are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.