WEDNESDAY, 8:07am: Chris Vernon adds yet another name to the list of possibilities for the Grizzlies, tweeting that the club is thinking about signing Josh Childress. Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal also adds (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies' interest in Vujacic is real, and that he'd be given a guarantee if it made financial sense to buy out his contract overseas.
9:39am: Vernon clarifies in a second tweet that there was a misunderstanding between him and his source, and that the Grizzlies are only considering West and Walker, rather than definitely intending to sign them.
9:11am: Because the Grizzlies had already been carrying the minimum 13 players on their roster, their three-for-one trade with the Cavaliers will leave them two players short of the minimum. To fill out the roster, Memphis is expected to sign Delonte West and Bill Walker, reports Chris Vernon of 92.9FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link).
According to Vernon, the Grizzlies will also sign Sasha Vujacic, though we heard back in August that Vujacic's contract in Turkey wouldn't let him return to the NBA this season, so it's unclear if that has changed. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter) and Istanbul-based reporter Ismail Senol (via Twitter), Vujacic won't be leaving Turkey's Anadolu Efes. If they add West and Walker, the Grizzlies would have reached the 13-man minimum, so there'd be no need to immediately add a 14th player anyway.
West, 29, was in camp with the Mavericks this year on a guaranteed minimum-salary contract, but fell out of favor with the team and was released just before the regular season got underway. He had a productive year in Dallas in 2011/12 though, posting a career-high 15.3 PER in 44 games, including 33 starts. Walker, meanwhile, spent most of last season with the Knicks before being released just before the playoffs. The 25-year-old averaged 5.9 PPG in 32 contests for New York in '11/12.
Even if the Grizzlies sign a pair of players to rest-of-season deals, the team shouldn't have to worry about going back over the tax threshold. In each instance, Memphis would only be on the hook for a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary, an amount small enough that the Grizz would remain under the tax line.
Veteran guard Eddie House is working out and waiting for a call from an NBA team, he tells Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The 34-year-old House, who played 11 seasons in the NBA, was in training camp with the Heat last year, but the team let him go in favor of rookie Terrel Harris. House said he had a tryout with another NBA club last season, and though he believes it went well, no offer was made.
House was a second-round draft pick by the Heat in 2000, and averaged 7.5 points per game and 39% shooting from beyond the arc over a lengthy career that included stops with eight different NBA teams. He appeared in 56 games for Miami in 2010/11, and his numbers of 6.5 PPG and 38.9% three-point shooting weren't far removed from his career marks.
House believes teams may prefer to go with first- and second-year players instead of veterans like him, since they can be had for cheaper minimum salaries. Even though the league compensates teams for the cost beyond the third-year veteran's minimum of $854,389 for players on one-year minimum deals, the rookie minimum of $473,604 is only a little more than half as much. Players with one year of experience get a minimum of $762,195, also a savings over a guy like House.
"Obviously, if you're calling me now, you're not calling me to be a huge part of the offense," House said. "I'm going to be a practice player, a filler. But if you can save $400K, on the business side of it, it makes plenty of sense."
Mike Bibby is still hoping to catch on with an NBA team within the next few weeks, but he doesn't expect to return to his 2011/12 squad, as Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com reports. A source close to Bibby tells Zwerling: "We do expect a need for him [with a team] once camp starts or just before, but we don't think it's going to be with the Knicks."
The news comes as no real surprise, considering the Knicks loaded up on point guards this summer, acquiring Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade and signing Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, and Chris Smith to free agent deals. Despite maintaining a solid assist rate for the Knicks last season, Bibby wasn't productive overall, averaging career lows in minutes (14.3), field-goal percentage (28.2%), and PER (7.8), among other categories.
Still, according to Zwerling, Bibby is healthy and has been preparing to play in the upcoming season. Bibby and brother-in-law Eddie House have been training and working out at Bibby's Arizona home over the summer.
With many playoff contenders plagued by health issues, including injuries to a handful of superstars, some teams may be thinking about adding an extra body for the postseason. There are plenty of young players available in the D-League, but for a club in need of one extra piece, a veteran with playoff experience may be the preferred candidate.
Listed below are a few free agents with extensive playoff experience who would still be eligible for the postseason if they signed with an NBA team today. Many of these players have been out of the league this season and are hardly sure bets to pick up where they left off, but for clubs with depth issues, they could be worth at least a look.