The Grizzlies have waived point guard Mario Chalmers, the team announced. Memphis also confirmed that he’ll miss the remainder of the 2015/16 season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon on Wednesday night. Zach Lowe of ESPN.com first reported that Chalmers had suffered a potential season-ending injury.
“Mario did an incredible job for us since coming to Memphis,” Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said. “Right from the start, he embraced his change of scenery and endeared himself to his teammates and coaches on the court and the Memphis community off of it.” Memphis’ roster count now stands at 15 players.
Chalmers mouthed the words, “I heard it pop,” as he was helped off the floor during the third quarter of Wednesday night’s contest, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. He didn’t return to the game and later left the locker room in a wheelchair, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal first relayed. The timing of the injury for Chalmers couldn’t have been worse, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. By waiving him, Memphis forfeits its Bird rights for Chalmers.
“He has been an important part of our success this season, both coming off the bench and when called upon as a starter,” Wallace said. “But with Mario’s season-ending injury and our already-depleted roster, it became necessary to free up a roster spot.”
Marc Gasol is also 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. The avalanche of injuries the team has endured had already prompted the Grizzlies to apply for a 16th roster spot. The team has reportedly signed Briante Weber via the hardship exception to a 10-day deal, which presumably means the league granted the request, though the Grizzlies issued no formal announcement. It’s conceivable that Memphis could once again get clearance for a 16th player, since the team applied for the roster spot before Chalmers went down, as Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron noted earlier today. Memphis would need four players likely to miss two weeks or more to receive clearance to add a 16th man.
Chalmers posted averages of 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 22.8 minutes over 55 games with the Grizzlies after they acquired him from the Heat in early November.