Brandan Wright

Grizzlies Notes: Coaching Search, Joerger, Conley

Former Pacers coach Frank Vogel will be part of a long list of candidates to replace Dave Joerger, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Tillery expects the Grizzlies to reach out to veteran coaches David Blatt, Brian Shaw, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. GM Chris Wallace promised a “thoughtful and comprehensive” process, adding that there is no rush to find a replacement. He plans to consider college coaches as well as NBA assistants. “We don’t have a guy,” Wallace said. “We’ll talk to people and see how it goes. It’s not about dealing from a pre-existing category. It’s about finding the right guy. We’re very much in the preliminary stages.” Tillery writes that “reshaping” the team, which the front office didn’t believe Joerger was willing to do, will be among the responsibilities for the next coach.

There’s more out of Memphis:

  • Wallace’s call for stability in the organization is laughable, writes Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal, pointing out that in the past four years, the Grizzlies have been through an ownership change, two GM changes and two coaching changes. Joerger had been expressing his unhappiness in subtle ways throughout the season, Calkins notes, and felt betrayed when Jeff Green and Courtney Lee were dealt away at the trade deadline. Joerger also said the roster was “old and slow” and repeatedly praised Jazz rookie Rodney Hood, whom the Grizzlies passed over in the draft. Calkins questions whether free agent point guard Mike Conley will want to re-sign with an organization that has seen so much turnover.
  • The Grizzlies may not have enough to offer on the free agent market, according to Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders. Memphis must decide by June 29th whether to pick up a $9.4MM option for next season on Lance Stephenson. If the Grizzlies keep him and all their other contracts while renouncing Matt Barnes and Chris Andersen, they will have about $60MM in guaranteed salary against a cap projected at more than $90MM. However, Conley carries a $14MM cap hold, which means money must be cut in other areas for the team to offer a max contract. Vince Carter and JaMychal Green are possibilities, as they both have contracts that won’t be guaranteed until January. Brandan Wright and his $5.7MM deal could be traded to clear more room. Dowsett speculates about Eric Gordon, Joe Johnson, Arron Afflalo, Gerald Henderson and Leandro Barbosa as possible free agent targets.

Western Notes: Bickerstaff, Prince, Carlisle

If the Rockets are able to clinch a playoff berth this evening, it would greatly enhance the chances of interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff earning the post on a full-time basis, Marc Stein of relays in a series of tweets. Houston does have interest in Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau, who are likely to be two of the more sought-after coaches this offseason, Stein adds. The Rockets are intrigued by the discipline and structure that Thibodeau could bring, but Brooks, who played for the Rockets, has an excellent familiarity with James Harden from their time spent together with the Thunder, Stein notes.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Wolves small forward Tayshaun Prince intends to play next season, telling reporters, “I’m not going to retire,” Kyle Ratke of tweets. The 36-year-old, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, appeared in 77 games and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per outing for Minnesota on the season.
  • Rick Carlisle, who is in his eighth season as Mavericks coach, has given the organization an uncommon stability during his tenure, Colin McGowan of RealGM writes. Carlisle deserves credit for making the most out of the talent he has been afforded, and the organization also deserves praise for sticking with the coach despite a few rocky seasons, McGowan adds.
  • Brandan Wright was limited to just 12 games for the Grizzlies this season, which likely diminishes his value as a potential trade chip and increases the likelihood Wright will be on Memphis’ roster next season, opines Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. The big man inked a three-year, $18MM with the Grizzlies last summer.
  • The Pelicans will finish the 2015/16 campaign with 351 games missed due to injury and illness, the most in the NBA in the past six years, Justin Verrier of relays (Twitter link).

Mike Conley Expected To Miss Rest Of Season

Mike Conley is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs because of his sore left Achilles tendon, reports Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. The same fate appears to be true for Brandan Wright and Jordan Adams, based on the answer coach Dave Joerger gave when asked the status of all three and P.J. Hairston, as Tillery relays. Joerger said only that he thinks Hairston will return to play.

Doctors determined that it would be in Conley’s best interest to sit out until next season after examining him last week, as Tillery details. The Grizzlies and Conley are exercising caution amid fear that playing with the injury would lead to a torn Achilles, Tillery writes. Conley, who hasn’t played since March 6th, is headed into free agency this summer, when he figures to be one of the most sought-after players available and the top point guard on the market.

Wright is in the first season of a three-year contract but has appeared in only 12 games for the Grizzlies because of injury. Conflicting reports early last month surrounded his timetable for recovery from a sprained MCL in his right knee, but according to Tillery, he was never expected to return in the regular season, with only the playoffs a possibility. Postseason play now also appears out of the question. Tillery hears he suffered a Grade II sprain, not a Grade I, as previously reported.

The Grizzlies have been reluctant to give insight on the health of Adams, as Tillery chronicles. The second-year shooting guard has been out since January because of right knee surgery, and the time of his expected return has never been clear.

Hairston hasn’t played since March 15th with what’s generally been listed as a left groin strain, though Tillery refers to it as a hamstring injury. In any case, he ran sprints as part of a workout Sunday, according to Tillery, so his health is a bright spot for the Grizzlies, who’ve used an all-time NBA record 28 players this season as injuries have decimated their lineup.

Memphis can’t receive a disabled player exception, and while the team is carrying two extra roster spots via hardship, it doesn’t seem likely the NBA will allow that to continue into the playoffs, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal wrote earlier today. The Grizzlies aren’t yet assured of a playoff berth, and though they’re in fifth place and would otherwise seem a safe bet for the postseason, they lead the ninth-place Rockets by only two games in the loss column. The regular season ends a week from Wednesday.

Southwest Notes: Wright, Stephenson, Dejean-Jones

Brandan Wright is liable to miss anywhere from a week to eight weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee that the team revealed in a statement Monday. The Grizzlies didn’t say whether the sprain is a Grade I, which is the milder form, or a Grade II, which would keep him out longer, notes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt hears it’s merely a Grade I (Twitter link), but coach Dave Joerger hinted at a much more pessimistic outlook, saying it will be difficult for the Grizzlies the rest of the year without him, Tillery relays (Twitter links). See more on the Grizzlies and other news from the Southwest Division:

  • Talk of the Grizzlies picking up Lance Stephenson‘s $9.405MM team option for next season that Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal referred to last week appears to have been speculative, as Herrington portrays it within his Pick-and-Pop column. It would take either an unexpected late-season flourish or an offseason gone awry for Stephenson’s option to look appealing to Grizzlies, Herrington believes.
  • James Ennis seems like the Grizzlies player most likely to be cut if the team wants to add someone else, Herrington posits in the same piece.
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones doesn’t have any guaranteed money beyond this season in his deal with the Pelicans, which is a three-year pact for the minimum salary, but he can trigger a partial guarantee of $80K for next season if he participates in summer league and a skill and conditioning program, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). It’s unclear how his broken right wrist will affect his ability to fulfill those requirements. The partial guarantee would go to $100K if he sticks on the roster through July 25th, Pincus adds.
  • Marcus Thornton‘s release from the Rockets was just that, rather than a buyout deal, as Pincus shows Thornton didn’t give up any salary when he hit waivers last week (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Wright, Ellis, Miller

Grizzlies big man Brandan Wright says that he expects to miss six to eight weeks after a knee surgery he’s scheduled to undergo Thursday, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. This confirms an earlier report by Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM. Memphis GM Chris Wallace, discussing Wright’s scheduled surgery, said, “There is a need to do the procedure at this time. We tried the rest and rehab route,” Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal relays (Twitter links). Tillery also notes that the team had believed that Wright, prior to his latest diagnosis, was merely suffering from tendinitis and was “soft” for sitting out.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Nuggets swingman Mike Miller had considered retirement after the 2011/12 season, but the veteran says that he feels rejuvenated and may continue his playing career for longer than expected, Chris Tomasson of The Denver Post writes. If my body feels the way it is right now, I want to play a couple of more years for sure, Miller told Tomasson. “I never would have believed [in 2012] that I’d still be playing now,” Miller added.
  • Despite competing with each other for minutes, Suns centers Tyson Chandler and Alex Len work well together, Matt Petersen of writes. “Those guys have a great relationship,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “They’re two of the most unselfish guys we have on the team. I’m not really as concerned about that. It’s a nice luxury for us and the coaches that they can go with whoever’s playing better, especially if somebody is either in foul trouble or has an off night.”
  • Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki says he wasn’t surprised that Monta Ellis opted out of his deal after last season in order to become an unrestricted free agent, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star tweets. “I mean, you figure since he had two good years for us and he’s [30 years old] now … you figure he’s going to get out and sign one more deal,” Nowitzki said. “I’m happy for him. He signed a four-year deal, got some good money, obviously. He is on a very good team in Indiana that is playing well, well-coached and well-run. I’m happy for him.

Southwest Notes: Howard, Anderson, Wright

Dwight Howard denies that he’s “extremely unhappy” in Houston and said to reporters Tuesday that he hasn’t expressed any discontent with playing a secondary role to James Harden, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. Howard, taking his fewest shots per game since he was a rookie, said last week he’s not worried about his part in the Rockets offense and that he believes his role will increase, Feigen points out.

“I want us to win,” Howard said Tuesday. “We had two upsetting losses. We’re all frustrated because we know we can play better. I haven’t said anything to any reporter or to anybody about being unhappy. That’s only noise. All the other stuff is lies.”

See more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans have listened to teams that have called with interest in trading for Ryan Anderson, and while they’re actively exploring trade possibilities and engaging teams on other matters, they’re not shopping the power forward, as Marc Stein of hears (Twitter links). The Rockets have reportedly “kicked the tires” on potential deals involving Anderson, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, while the team would consider giving up Anderson for Markieff Morris, as Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported. The Suns and Pelicans have had preliminary talks about Morris, Wojnarowski and Charania wrote, and Anderson’s name is involved in that discussion, too, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune.
  • An initial timetable has Grizzlies big man Brandan Wright back in six to eight weeks after a knee surgery he’s scheduled to undergo Thursday, reports Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM in Memphis (Twitter links). Wright, a key offseason free agent signee for Memphis, hasn’t played since November 7th as he and the team held out hope that his sore right knee would heal without the procedure, Vernon adds.
  • Jonathon Simmons made the D-League affiliate of the Spurs through an open tryout in 2013, but he averaged fewer than 10 points a game in 2013/14 and thought about quitting pro basketball in the summer of 2014, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News details. Now, the 26-year-old is in the Spurs rotation after signing an NBA deal this past summer that includes a fully guaranteed salary for this season.

Southwest Notes: Gasol, Simmons, Ginobili, Wright

The Spurs tried to lure Marc Gasol away from Memphis, but he was committed to the Grizzlies, tweets Dan McCarney of The San Antonio Express-News. Once GM R.C. Buford realized that, he turned his full attention to LaMarcus Aldridge.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Jonathon Simmons‘ deal with the Spurs is fully guaranteed for next season, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). On Friday, Simmons signed a two-year contract for the minimum with a team option for the second season. Simmons was on Brooklyn’s bus headed to a summer league game when his agent told him of the Spurs’ offer (Twitter link).
  • In a procedural move, the Spurs renounced their rights to free agent Manu Ginobili, tweets Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times. San Antonio will re-sign Ginobili with its $2.814MM room exception, rather than Bird Rights.
  • “Love at first sight” is how Brandan Wright described his reaction to being pursued by the Grizzlies, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. The free agent signed a three-year deal with the team worth about $17.1MM“Even though we’ve had a strong frontcourt, we haven’t had a great deal of athleticism and length,” said GM Chris Wallace. “He’s a shot blocker and can score on lob passes. He provides defense, athleticism and experience.”
  • The Mavericks are hoping to sign another center, tweets Earl K. Sneed of “It’d be nice to have someone that can play above the rim,” said owner Mark Cuban.

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Asik, Aldridge

In a candid Q&A session with Tim MacMahon of, Mavs forward Chandler Parsons detailed the team’s recruitment of DeAndre Jordan, and expressed his disappointment with the center re-signing with the Clippers. When asked about his reaction to Jordan spurning Dallas, Parsons told MacMahon, “I’m shocked, very disappointed, frustrated, disrespected. This is something that I’ve never seen in my career, and I know that it doesn’t happen very often. When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • It’s the Spurs‘ own 2016 second-rounder headed to Sacramento in the Ray McCallum trade, according to RealGM.
  • The protection on the 2017 second-round pick headed from the Hawks to the Spurs in the Tiago Splitter trade is for the top 55 picks, as RealGM details.
  • The four-year max deal that Wesley Matthews signed with the Mavs includes a player option after year three, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • The final season in Omer Asik‘s five-year deal with the Pelicans is an early termination option. That season is partially guaranteed for $3MM, though he can end up with a larger partial guarantee if he triggers incentives, Pincus notes (Twitter links).
  • The Grizzlies used the mid-level exception for their deal with Brandan Wright. Pincus pegs its value at $17.1MM, though he’s probably rounding down from $17,129,640, the full value of the mid-level over three years. Wright also has a 15% trade kicker.
  • Alexis Ajinca‘s four-year deal with the Pelicans is worth $19.2MM, tweets Pincus.
  • The starting salary in Patrick Beverley‘s deal with the Rockets is $6,486,486, but that’s a function of front-loading. It’s worth a total of $23MM over four years, Pincus relays (on Twitter).
  • LaMarcus Aldridge has a 15% trade kicker in his max deal with the Spurs, notes Pincus (via Twitter).
  • The Mavs considered trying to swing a trade for Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson before Deron Williams reached a buyout arrangement with the Nets, MacMahon tweets. Williams is expected to sign with Dallas if he clears waivers, which is highly likely given the point guard’s player-friendly contract.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Grizzlies Sign Brandan Wright

JULY 9TH, 9:03am: The deal is official, the team announced.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 1ST, 5:39pm: The Grizzlies have reached an agreement with free agent Brandan Wright, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The deal is for three years, and nearly $18MM, Wojnarowski adds. The Mavs, Pacers, Clippers, and Suns all had expressed interest in signing the big man.

The team will likely use the $5.464MM mid-level exception to facilitate the signing. It would also make it tougher for the Grizzlies to sign Mo Williams, with whom they’re reportedly close on a deal. It also gives Memphis insurance in case Kosta Koufos signs elsewhere.

Wright, 27, split last season between the Mavs and the Suns, who acquired him at midseason. In 40 games for Phoenix he logged 7.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 21.5 minutes per contest. His career numbers are 7.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.0 BPG, with a slash line of .606/.000/.683.

Western Notes: Wright, Asik, Crowder, Lin

In the wake of losing free agent big man Tyson Chandler to the Suns, the Mavericks reached out to center Brandan Wright, J. Michael of tweets. Wright, whom the team dealt as part of the package to acquire Rajon Rondo from the Celtics last season, agreed to a three year, $18MM deal with the Grizzlies earlier this evening. Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans are in discussions with free agent Omer Asik about the center re-signing with the team, John Reid of The Times Picayune tweets. Blazers‘ free agent big man Robin Lopez doesn’t appear to be an option for New Orleans at this point, Reid adds.
  • The Mavericks are intent on adding depth at point guard this offseason, and were one of the first teams to reach out to free agent Jeremy Lin, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter). Dallas has also touched base with Patrick Beverley, J.J. Barea, and Nick Calathes, Tim MacMahon tweets.
  • The Clippers and Mavericks are among the teams that have expressed interest in free agent point guard C.J. Watson, Kennedy relays (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks and the Celtics are the frontrunners to sign free agent swingman Jae Crowder, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (via Twitter).
  • The Pelicans and Mavs have both been in contact with free agent forward Richard Jefferson, Chris Mannix of relays (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets are intent on re-signing Corey Brewer, and Houston was the first team to contact the swingman when the free agent signing period commenced, Kennedy tweets.
  • The Pelicans, Rockets, and Knicks have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent center Kendrick Perkins, Royce Young of relays (Twitter link).
  • Denver’s top priorities in free agency are to re-sign Jameer Nelson and Will Barton, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. The Nuggets are strong contenders for Nelson, and the general expectation is that they’ll keep Barton, as Dempsey details. The team would also like to re-sign Darrell Arthur but expects the Pistons, among others, to make a run at him, Dempsey writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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