11:07am: The team will try to get two roster spots on top of the one for Weber, with an eye on adding both a guard and a big man, according to Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter links). That indicates Memphis is seeking permission to carry 18 players, three over the regular season limit. Herrington also suggests the Grizzlies might weigh the merits of waiving Chalmers if he’s done for the season, thus forfeiting his Bird rights, though it’s unclear if they’re considering such a move. Weber signed Wednesday, according to RealGM, though the team has made no announcement, and it’s not entirely clear whether he’s indeed under contract.
9:52am: The Grizzlies are worried that an MRI will show that Mario Chalmers tore his Achilles tendon during Wednesday’s game, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chalmers mouthed the words, “I heard it pop,” as he was helped off the floor during the third quarter, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). He didn’t return to the game and later left the locker room in a wheelchair, notes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.
A torn Achilles would obviously be devastating for Chalmers, whose contract expires at the end of the season, and it would add to a litany of injuries that have already prompted the Grizzlies to apply for a 16th roster spot. The team plans to sign point guard Briante Weber if the league allows the team an extra man via the hardship exception. It’s conceivable that Memphis could get clearance for a 17th player, since the team applied for the roster spot before Chalmers went down.
Marc Gasol is done for the season, while Jordan Adams, Chris Andersen, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright are all out for indefinite periods with maladies of some kind. Memphis would need four players likely to miss two weeks or more to receive clearance to add a 16th man. A fifth such injury would allow for a 17th man.
The Grizzlies have the fortune of largely being locked into their playoff seeding, since they’re four games in the loss column behind the fourth-place Clippers and five up on the sixth-place Trail Blazers. Still, the loss of Chalmers for the rest of the season would significantly weaken their bench for the playoffs.