Yves Pons did not hear his name called during Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but it appears he quickly found a landing spot with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Pons’ ability as a defender could give him staying power in the league for a long time to come.
The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year has struggled to take the step next offensively, but if he does, he will be a steal for the Grizzlies, who already boast an impressive core of young talent around their star Ja Morant.
Pons’ decision to return last season was huge for Tennessee, as he tested the NBA waters before making an announcement that he would return to Tennessee.
“The one thing we knew with Yves is that he’s a very well thought out person,” Barnes said last August. “I do think that every NBA team that interviewed him was more impressed after talking with him because they understood what we know, with how hard he works, his commitment and how much better he wants to get every day. He’s hearing it from a lot of different people, but Yves thought it out with his circle of trust and his people back home, and in the end, he’s coming back. Is he a difference maker? Absolutely. He’s improved. He has. I think this year is going to give him a chance to walk into the NBA from the front door. I believe it. The growth he’s made and will continue to make because he works. He’s got a chance to really be in that league for a long time.”
Pons, known for his work ethic and passion for the game, will undoubtedly work tirelessly to earn a spot with the Grizzlies.