Grizzlies Notes: Chalmers, Barnes, Carter, Martin

The Grizzlies are just 25-20, but GM Chris Wallace said he feels “optimistic and bullish” about the team and doesn’t feel compelled to make a deal as the trade deadline approaches, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. The No. 1 priority in free agency this summer for Memphis is re-signing Mike Conley, Wallace confirmed, but the Grizzlies aren’t planning an no-holds-barred attempt to win this season at the expense of the long term, as Tillery details.

“We are not going to do anything — even if it gives us a bump — that will significantly compromise us in the future,” Wallace said. “Part of watching your cap is watching the back end of your roster. We made a decision to fill up the back end of the roster with an eye on the future.”

Wallace praised recent trade acquisitions Mario Chalmers and Matt Barnes, calling Chalmers “best backup point guard we’ve had in the nine years I’ve been here,” Tillery notes. Both are set for free agency at season’s end. See more from Memphis:

  • The current Grizzlies roster might be flawed, but it still may be too expensive for the team to maintain, contends Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal as he takes a broad look at the cap situation for the franchise and the moves that it’ll be able to make financially. Still, don’t expect the Grizzlies to move toward a serious rebuild, Herrington writes.
  • Herrington suggests the team will “almost certainly” use the stretch provision to waive Vince Carter this summer, since the sides essentially agreed to a two-year deal in 2014 that they structured as a three-year contract only to reduce the tax burden for Memphis in the first year, Herrington explains. Carter’s salary is partially guaranteed for $2MM, so the stretch provision would break that into three equal parts each season through 2018/19.
  • Grizzlies camp cut Lazeric Jones has signed with Pinar Karsiyaka of Turkey, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Ismail Senol of Turkey’s NTV Spor first reported the move (Twitter link; translation again via Carchia). Jones had been playing with the Grizzlies D-League affiliate in Iowa as an affiliate player.
  • The Grizzlies have assigned Jarell Martin to the D-League, the team announced. It’s D-League assignment No. 4 on the season for the rookie who missed the first two months of 2015/16 recovering from a broken foot.
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