Just two weeks after acquiring him from the Celtics, the Grizzlies have released big man Fab Melo, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). It's not clear if that was Memphis' plan all along, or whether the team changed its opinion on Melo after trading for him, but either way, his stint with the Grizzlies didn't last long.
In the deal that sent Melo to Memphis and Donte Greene to Boston, the Grizzlies gave up a non-guaranteed salary of about $1.03MM to add a guaranteed $1.31MM salary. However, as Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld tweeted last week, the Celtics also included $1.66MM in cash in the swap. So even though the Grizzlies still take a cap hit for Melo, ownership technically saved a little money in the deal, at the expense of some flexibility.
Assuming Melo isn't claimed on waivers, he'll become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team except the C's. Meanwhile, by cutting him prior to the August 31st deadline, the Grizzlies can use the stretch provision on Melo, allowing the club to stretch his salary payments and cap hit into three equal parts over the next three years.
Of course, it's no given that Melo will clear waivers. As Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter) it's possible that a team with cap space or a trade exception big enough to absorb his salary will take a flier on the young seven-footer, which would take the Grizzlies entirely off the hook for his contract.