Western Notes: Grizzlies, Nuggets, Smith, Cooley

Sunday’s signing of JaMychal Green to a 10-day contract shows the Grizzlies aren’t afraid to gamble on inexpensive talent, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal reports in a subscription-only article. “You’re basically playing the odds that you find one that hits,” Memphis GM Chris Wallace said. “If none of them hits, it’s not skin off your back. It’s a free shot.” The 24-year-old Green hit the open market after the Spurs declined to sign him to a second 10-day contract last week. He received interest from the Knicks, Bulls, Bucks and Blazers before signing with Memphis. The Grizzlies cleared a roster spot when they decided not to offer Tyrus Thomas a second 10-day contract. Thomas will join the Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate in Iowa, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. (Twitter link).

There’s much more from the Western Conference:

  • The Nuggets are showing fortitude by trying to make a deal for Nets center Brook Lopez, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.  While there are roadblocks to getting a deal done, Dempsey feels that it’ll come down to how motivated the Nuggets are to acquire Lopez and not how desperate the Nets are to unload him.
  • “Fed up” is how Ty Lawson described Nuggets coach Brian Shaw after Saturday’s 18-point loss to the Hornets, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post. Groke believes Shaw’s job may be in jeopardy after a bad week that included a 69-point performance in Thursday’s loss to the Grizzlies“You can tell his spirit is getting lower and lower,” Lawson said of his coach. “Just game in and game out, I guess we’re not executing the way we want to or according to the game plan.”
  • Josh Smith admits he was shocked when the Pistons waived him in December, but he’s already grown comfortable with the Rockets and is high on the idea of re-signing with Houston this summer, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports details.
  • Former Jazz camp invitee Jack Cooley is again drawing NBA interest, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). The 23-year-old center, who was with the Jazz this past fall, pulled down 19 points in a recent game for Utah’s D-League affiliate, Pilato notes. It’s unclear if the Jazz are among those thinking of him for a spot on their NBA roster.

Chuck Myron and Zach Links contributed to this post.

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