The Grizzlies have claimed Josh Akognon off waivers from the Mavericks, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Memphis assumes Akognon's minimum-salary contract as a result. Dallas decided this weekend to let go of Akognon to accomodate their deal with free agent Monta Ellis, whose three-year, $25.08MM deal became official yesterday, Stein also tweets. The team also has an outstanding agreement with Wayne Ellington, but presumably that will become official soon, too.
The same cap crunch also forced the team to waive Bernard James, but he went unclaimed and the Mavs re-signed him. Akognon originally joined the Mavs on a 10-day contract in April after putting up impressive scoring numbers in China. He put up 29.0 points per game this past season in the Chinese league and 28.2 in 2011/12, and while he was drawing heavy interest from China following the Mavs' decision to waive him, it appears he'll get his wish to remain in the NBA.
The Alpha Basketball Agency client was the Mavs' leading scorer in the Las Vegas Summer League at 17.5 PPG, and he shot 39.1% on 46 total attempts from behind the arc. The 5'11" guard may provide another outside shooter for the Grizzlies in case they miss out on their pursuit of Mike Miller. The claim probably won't affect the team's plans to chase Miller or another free agent, since the Grizzlies can absorb him using the minimum-salary exception. Indeed, Stein tweets that Akognon's pickup doesn't affect their pursuit of the former Heat sharpshooter, whom Memphis is pushing hard to sign.