I think one of B.C.'s biggest mistakes was keeping Calderon/Kleiza who could have been amnestied & Signing Fields + John Lucas, while letting go of Jerryd Bayless, now okay.. B.C. loves his high character guys, and I respect that ideology, once you have a core of high character guys you can have one or two talented hot-heads on your team.
But Bayless was one of my favourite players, the guy was talented and had a good head on his shoulders, the other guy you guys let go of was obv. James Johnson who was arguably one of your best perimeter defenders in the league last season but atleast to B.C.'s defense the guy was pretty trippy in his behaviour off the court & on the court (with coaches etc.)
Bayless legitimately seemed to me like a potential Rose-esque player who didn't get the right opportunities to showcase his talent. And every time he got that opportunity he didn't let anyone down, got these stats off the Bayless tracker thread back in 2011:
Bayless when playing > 30MPG:
FG: 100/ 205 ( .488)
3PTFG: 18/ 53 ( .340)
FT: 77/ 92 ( .840)
A TO Ratio: 2.33
The kid was extremely talented, coming out of college he was already an explosive Westbrook/Rose-esque player offensively, his strengths being his ability to break down the defense, attack the rim, finish with contact, draw fouls, and locking up his man on d. His weaknesses were his court vision and his shooting, but coming into the NBA his shooting transformed and he become an excellent shooter from deep and especially the midrange. His court vision was still questionable at times but it had steadily improved every year he'd been in the league, he had quite a few 8+ assist games when he started & was given the minutes and I honestly thought he was arguably a better passer than Jose primarily because the man actually broke down the defense and used his penetration to open up his team mates and then dished it off to them, and definitely a better passer in the full court. My point being, that he was capable of becoming a great combo guard in a league that is being run more and more by combo guards.
If you head over to the Grizzlies board or speak to a few Grizzlies fans/players you'll quickly realize that they love this guy, he gave them a perfect replacement for OJ Mayo, with better point guard skills.. A few days ago the raptors got torched by Mayo so I'm sure everyone's familiar with his skillset, Bayless is definitely a more complete offensive player, as for his defense it may not be at OJ's level but that said every time I remember watching Bayless, he competed hard against the point guards he was put against. I remember particularly well one of the games I loved watching was when the Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls & Bayless started, outplayed Derrick Rose, and contained him as well as any point guard in the league would have.
With Jose Calderon starting, the team is almost unbearable to watch, all that happens in the last few games is dribble dribble dribble - post up - pass, breakdown on d, more pounding the rock by el matador. Kyle Lowry completely changed the complexion of this team, and they competed with him on the court.
I understand that Lowry was also a point guard, but you don't give away assets, Bayless would have certainly come in handy in the 2nd quarter of tonights game when the team couldn't buy a bucket, and he would have improved our team considerably on offense and defense, teams never have to pay any attention to Jose, all he's going to do is either shoot pass or dribble in one place, how hard is it to pass the ball to DeMar/Andrea in the post, which is what we do 90% of the time?
And all that said, Bayless brought an excitement that I'd seen very few PGs bring onto the court, namely Derrick Rose, Westbrook, Rondo, Lillard etc.
I've watched Thunder games since their inaugural season, and the one player I feel Bayless can be compared to side by side is Russel Westbrook. They both have the same strengths, Bayless is a better shooter, Westbrook a better defender, both have the same weaknesses, court vision/out of control at times, the only difference being that Westbrook was given the keys from day 1, and he got much needed in-game experience, and he played alongside.. Kevin Durant; while Bayless was restricted in minutes, given a defined role.
He's playing well now as a backup combo guard on a contending team in Memphis, looks a lot more in control and a better defender, and its showing up on the stat sheet, hope he keeps playing well & I hope I didn't bore you guys with this rather long post