Bane, Tillie Among Promising New Grizzlies


Despite only having one second-round selection going into draft night, Zach Kleiman and the Memphis Grizzlies made several distinct moves that elated the niche club of NBA Draft Twitter. In this space, we will spotlight two of the players Memphis acquired and explore what Grizzlies fans can expect from them.

Desmond Bane

Is Desmond Bane a cross between Buddy Hield and Dillon Brooks? The Grizzlies’ front office sure thinks he has a chance to be. They traded up to the 30th pick by sending multiple future second-round picks to the Boston Celtics.

Savvy move.


The one thing that I can tell you about Bane is that he is built like a tank. At 6’5″, 215 lbs, Bane has been compared to Eric Gordon. Sounds kind of like the scouting report for a Batman nemesis — how fitting. I digress. 

Bane is a guy who grinds and it shows based on his rise from high school to now. Coming into college, he was a zero-star recruit with very few offers. In fact, he didn’t even play organized basketball until high school. His athletic accomplishments are a testament to the work that he has put in to get to this point as a first-round draft pick. Very impressive.

At TCU, Bane played four seasons, averaging 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in his final campaign. The biggest thing that impressed NBA scouts (and NBA Twitter) was his shooting. He was a career 43% three-point shooter in college and took 6.5 attempts per game in his senior season.

Bane will be called upon to guard multiple positions and may struggle with some of the smaller, sneakier guards, but a bonus area of strength for him that is often overlooked is his passing. Even though he wasn’t a primary ball handler, he had an assist rate in the top 160 in college basketball last season.

The missing link for Memphis has always been a knockdown 3-and-D wing. That type of player comes at a premium these days whether through free agency or trade. Bane hustles on both ends of the floor and has the tenacity to succeed on defense, even in potential mismatches. If Memphis was able to find their guy for the future in Bane, then they may have struck gold.

Killian Tillie

If you’ve listened to anyone in NBA media circles recently, then you’ve heard Killian Tillie described as a lottery talent who can’t stay on the court due to various injuries. That’s a great summary. The undrafted stretch big man has shown loads of potential to be an efficient basketball player. The easy comparison on the numbers side is his former teammate and current Grizzly, Brandon Clarke.

In Tillie’s 24-game senior year at Gonzaga, he had a top-10 offensive rating in the country. He shot 53% from the field including 40% from three on nearly four attempts per game. In each of his four seasons in college, he exceeded the 40% mark from deep. He comes from a family of athletes, including his brother, who played basketball for the French national team. In addition to impressive outside shooting, the 6’10” stretch big man also converted on 72% of his shots at the rim in his final season as a Bulldog.

The addition of Tillie on a two-way contract was a low-risk, high-reward move that could pay dividends in the long term. Memphis just converted John Konchar to a full-time roster spot with his recent contract, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the Grizzlies to eventually bring Tillie up to the big leagues full time if he can stay on the court. With Jaren Jackson Jr. out to start the season, he may get an opportunity to impress sooner than later. 

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