1:38pm: The Grizzlies have officially exercised their fourth-year option on Martin, the club confirmed today in a press release.
9:01am: The Grizzlies will exercise their 2018/19 team option on Jarell Martin‘s rookie contract in advance of Tuesday’s deadline, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s a fourth-year option for the young power forward.
It’s an impressive turn of events for Martin, who appeared on the verge of being waived earlier this month. Entering training camp, Memphis was carrying more than 15 players on guaranteed contracts, and Martin appeared to be the odd man out. However, the club gave him the opportunity to make an impression during the preseason and he did just that, earning a roster spot over youngsters Wade Baldwin and Rade Zagorac, who were both waived.
In the early going this season, Martin has been the Grizzlies’ starting power forward, averaging a career-high 23.9 minutes per game. He’s contributing a modest 7.1 PPG and 4.6 RPG.
Now that Martin has earned his place on the roster for the 2017/18 season, it makes sense for the Grizzlies to pick up his 2018/19 option, which has a small cap charge of approximately $2.42MM. Even if the team decides next summer that Martin isn’t part of the plans for the ’18/19 season, it likely wouldn’t be hard to find a taker for a player on an expiring contract with such a minimal cap hit.
Martin will now be extension-eligible during the 2018 offseason, so that could be an option for the Grizzlies if they really like what they see from the 23-year-old this year. If he doesn’t get an extension, the former 25th overall pick will become eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2019.