The Grizzlies have signed summer league center Michael Holyfield to a non-guaranteed contract, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Memphis hasn’t made a formal announcement, but it appears the move has indeed taken place. Pincus indicates that it’s a one-year, minimum salary arrangement that constitutes an Exhibit 9 contract, a deal that would provide Holyfield with only $6K if he were to get hurt while playing for the Grizzlies and the team were to waive him. Most contracts require teams to keep paying players while they recover from injuries.
Holyfield, who went undrafted out of Sam Houston State in June, split his time in summer league last month between the Grizzlies and Celtics, averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game across six appearances total. The 6’11” 22-year-old, who turns 23 in November, put up 8.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG in just 17.9 MPG in college as a senior this past season, a stat line that highlights his efficient work on the boards.
Memphis had been carrying 14 fully guaranteed deals, plus JaMychal Green, whose minimum salary is partially guaranteed for $150K. Thus, Holyfield stands an outside chance to stick for the regular season, when the roster must shrink to no more than 15 players, but it seems more likely that he’ll end up with the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies’ one-to-one D-League affiliate. NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they cut at the end of the preseason.