Hudsanity

Guard Lester Hudson, whose second 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers expired on Wednesday, signed with the Grizzlies today.

Looks like the Memphis Grizzlies are looking to add more weapons to their team come playoff time.

Do not sleep on this move. I repeat, do not sleep on this move. Hudson can play (as we saw in his stint with Cleveland), and if given the opportunity, he will make the most of it. Hudson is eligible for the postseason because he had not been waived. While Gilbert Arenas recovers from an injury on his shooting hand, Hudson joins as insurance in the backcourt.

Hudson played 32 minutes per game during a four-game stretch where he averaged 23.2 points against Toronto, New Jersey, Charlotte and Indiana. If he ends up on a team next year, he’ll definitely have that stretch of games at the top of his resume. Originally selected by Boston in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Hudson has career averages of 4.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 49 career games for the Celtics, Grizzlies, Wizards, and Cavaliers.

Of course, he isn’t flawless. Lester’s weakness is shooting percentage. He shoots at a high volume even when the shots are not dropping, but we can attribute some of that to the lack of offensive weapons on the Cavs. I think he makes up for it by being all over the place, getting steals, rebounds, deflections—and after watching some of his games, it’s evident that he is dedicated to winning as a team and becoming a better player individually.

Watching this Hudson story come to its Cleveland conclusion reminded me just how much luck plays into things like launching an NBA career. Without key injuries and Mike D’Antoni being forced to go to Lin, we’d never know his name. If Lester Hudson hadn’t been a stand-out in the four-game window when he was afforded the chance to do so, we wouldn’t even be talking about this signing.

Two months after “Linsanity” took over the sports world, Cleveland’s Lester Hudson proved that Lin’s climbing of the NBA ladder was what may have been just the first in a long line of talented but undiscovered players. While Lin’s storybook season was more discussed, to offer not a fraction of similar attention to Hudson appears unjust.

Hudson was born and raised in Memphis, playing his college ball at Tennessee-Martin. Hopefully this move helps him get a contract for his hometown team. Where Hudson ends up this fall remains to be seen. Where he is now, however, needs to not only be embraced by Memphis fans while it lasts, but NBA fans as well.

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