Jerryd Bayless Finally Got An Opportunity In 2018-19
As we recap the 2018-19 Timberwolves season, our Kyle Ratke and Julian Andrews will be taking a look at each player on the roster and how we'll remember their season. We start with point guard Jerryd Bayless.
STATS IN 2018-19: 34 games, 6 starts, 19.3 MPG, 6.1 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.8 RPG, 35.7 FG%, 29.6 3P%, 57.1 FT%
KR: When Jerryd Bayless joined the Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler trade, he hadn’t played in a regular-season NBA game since Feb. 9, 2018.
That’s roughly 10 months as Bayless was recovering from a knee injury that lingered. Ten months in the basketball world might as well be three years.
From 2016-17 to 2017-18, Bayless appeared in just 42 games. While he might have been considered an afterthought in the trade to some, let’s not forget that in 2015-16 Bayless averaged 10.4 points per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the 3-point line with the Bucks. Those are bench numbers every team in the NBA would love to have.
It’s hard to judge Bayless’ season considering a lot of it was him feeling out the game again, along with a group of new teammates, midway through a season.
His numbers weren’t all that impressive. He shot a career-low 35.7 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from the 3-point line. But a full offseason to feel more comfortable with his body should help.
He showed plenty of flashes this season that proves that there’s plenty of basketball left for the 30-year-old out of Arizona.
He had a 19-point, 12-assist, 7-rebound game in a win over the Grizzlies in late January. And in Minnesota’s overtime win over the Warriors on Mar. 29, Bayless finished with 17 points and six assists off the bench.
For Bayless, he should think of the season as a success considering he was able to get back on the court. Had that trade with Philadelphia not happened, it’s pretty unlikely he appears in 34 games, or at all.
Bayless was grateful for his opportunity for the Wolves, and hopefully, it’s something that continues his career.
“Most guys in the league can do things if they get a chance and Ryan (Saunders) and the team, they try to put me in position to be successful,” Bayless said. “. . . I’ve felt confident the whole time. Like I said, it’s about getting the opportunity to get a real opportunity to play and any guy that made it to the league knows that they’re good enough to play, it’s just about getting that opportunity to play and play confidently.”
JA: Jerryd Bayless was a bit of an afterthought in the trade that brought him, along with Robert Covington and Dario Saric, to Minnesota. However, when the Wolves were hit with injuries, Bayless became a valuable player for the team and helped them get a few victories that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Bayless scored 17 to help beat the Warriors in late March and averaged 15.7 points (scoring in double figures each game) and 8.0 assists per game during a six-game stretch at the end of January where he scored in double-figures each game and the Wolves went 3-3.
The 11-year veteran Bayless can be somewhat of a heat-check guy. He sometimes takes shots he shouldn’t, and he probably won’t be any team’s No. 1 option as a starter at point guard. However, with his play for the Wolves this year, Bayless made it clear that he has a place in the league. Bayless is the type of player you want on your roster when injuries hit and he proved his worth for Minnesota.