Former Boston Celtics player No. 1) Desmond Bane
Ok, so we understand that Desmond Bane never actually wound up playing a game for the Boston Celtics and that he literally lasted just a few minutes with the franchise before being traded on draft night back in 2020 to the Memphis Grizzlies, but, nevertheless, we feel as though he warrants a spot on this list because, well, he’s just that damn good and we can’t help but think about the “what ifs” with him.
The sophomore forward had himself a tremendous year in 2021-22, posting stellar averages of 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals on 46 percent shooting from the floor and 44 percent shooting from deep.
In fact, his level of play was so great this season that his own teammate, Ja Morant, wound up hand-delivering the Most Improved Player award right to his home, despite the fact the title was actually won by the point guard himself.
In this year’s postseason, however, the talented youngster has surprisingly managed to bring his game to an even higher level.
Through five games played, Bane has served as Memphis’s 1B option alongside Morant. Leading the team in both scoring and plus-minus rating (9.6), the 23-year-old is putting up a whopping 23.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor and 46.8 percent shooting from deep.
His highly efficient two-way play has been a true luxury for the Grizzlies all year long, and is a big reason why they find themselves one game away from advancing to round two.