THURSDAY, 11:24am: The signing is official, the Grizzlies announced via press release, referring to it as a multiyear deal. Memphis is limited to the minimum salary exception, so that means Munford’s new contract is a two-year arrangement that covers the rest of the 2015/16 season and 2016/17. He’ll make $874,636 next season and, provided the contract begins today as the team indicates, it’ll pay $21,621 for this season. The Grizzlies have a team option on next season, a league source tells Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). The team waived Ryan Hollins minutes ago, so Memphis has 16 players as it stands.
WEDNESDAY, 9:06am: The Grizzlies will sign shooting guard Xavier Munford for the rest of the season and the playoffs, a league source tells Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal suggested earlier this week that such a move would come in light of his increasing role and production. Still, it’s unclear whether the Grizzlies would be allowed to carry extra roster spots in the postseason as they’ve done since last month via the hardship provision, so the fate of some Memphis players is unclear. The Grizzlies currently have 16 players, one over the usual limit, and that doesn’t include Munford.
Bryce Cotton is on a 10-day contract that expires after Saturday’s game against the Warriors, and the other 15 Grizzlies have contracts that cover the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. If the NBA won’t let the Grizzlies carry extra players into the playoffs, they’ll have to waive one of those 15 for Munford to stick around, and two if they also want to keep Cotton.
The Grizzlies haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet, but they drew closer to doing so with Tuesday’s win over the Bulls. Memphis has a three and a half game lead on the ninth-place Rockets.
Munford is averaging 5.6 points in 14.2 minutes per game for the Grizzlies and has nailed eight of his 13 attempts from behind the arc. He played nearly 34 minutes in Sunday’s game against the Magic and has averaged 24.4 minutes over the last three outings for Memphis. The 23-year-old who went undrafted out of Rhode Island in 2014 had never signed an NBA contract before he inked his first 10-day deal with the Grizzlies last month, having instead played most of this season and last for the D-League affiliate of the Suns. It’s unclear if his new contract with Memphis will also cover next season, but if it doesn’t, the Grizzlies would be able to make him a restricted free agent this summer and match offers for him.