MEMPHIS, Tenn.– It may have caught many people by surprise when the Grizzlies talked about sliding second-year forward Santi Aldama into the starting line-up, with Jaren Jackson Junior still rehabbing an injured foot.

But Monday night, in the team’s preseason home opener, Aldama showed why he might actually be the perfect fit.

Aldama got the start and immediately went to work against the Magic, showing off his versatility and shot making by knocking down his first four 3’s.  Aldama would finish the night with 21 points on 7 of 9 from the floor.

He continues to shoot with confidence and his ability to make big shots, at 6’11”, really allows the Grizzlies to space the floor which means more room for Ja Morant to work.

We know what that means.

What Aldama has done since summer league has put him in line to start on Opening Night against the Knicks.  That’s something he’s really looking forward to.

“That’s a reward for the hard work. I’ve been working for this. I feel like I’ve earned the shot of getting a spot,” Aldama said.  “There’s a lot of good competition. I’m just going to keep working until that day. Obviously, that’s what I’m looking forward to.  That would be great and that’s my goal.”

“Just credit for him, honestly, for putting in the work, improving this offseason, and coming in ready to play,” Morant said.  “He just does so much on the floor with his size. Able to move, guard guards, 1-through-4, also can play the 5, can shoot the 3. So, he brings a lot to the table for us and he’s been playing very well.”