Grizzlies Notes: Bradley, Oubre, Morant, Melton

Avery Bradley only played 14 games with the Grizzlies, but he tells David Cobb of The Commercial Appeal that short stretch in Memphis helped him revitalize his career. Bradley re-emerged as a scorer after the Clippers shipped him to the Grizzlies at February’s trade deadline. He increased his average from 8.2 PPG in L.A. to 16.1 in Memphis and credits the freedom offered by then-coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

“J.B. gave me an opportunity to go out there and play my game,” Bradley said. “I’m thankful for that, I’m thankful for the city of Memphis. It’s home for me. My family is from Memphis and Mississippi. I’m going to miss it. It’s going to be nice when I come back and we play them there.”

The Grizzlies parted with Bradley in a cost-cutting move, waiving him in July and paying a $2MM guarantee instead of his $12.96MM salary. He signed with the Lakers a few days later for $4.8MM.

“Things were just unfortunate,” Bradley said of the end of his stay in Memphis. “There were a lot of changes. My time there was special.”

There’s more from Memphis:

  • Confusion shut down the Grizzlies’ attempts to trade for Kelly Oubre last season, and the roster would look much different now if that deal had gone through, Cobb notes in a mailbag column. Memphis believed it was parting with Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks, while the Wizards were expecting to receive Dillon Brooks. Washington wound up moving Oubre to Phoenix, where he has played well. But Cobb notes that if the Grizzlies had taken on his $15MM salary, they probably couldn’t have made room for Andre Iguodala in a deal that landed them a future first-round pick from the Warriors.
  • The Grizzlies are thrilled with the start by first-round pick Ja Morant, whose 70 points are the most in four games by any rookie in team history, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. In addition to his obvious athleticism, Morant has impressed coaches with how quickly he has adapted to the NBA game. “He’s got great chemistry with his teammates,” head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “His IQ is kind of helping him navigate day in and day out, game after game after game and the sky’s the limit for the guy.”
  • De’Anthony Melton considers his rookie year with the Suns to be a “learning experience” about life in the NBA (video link from The Arizona Republic). After playing 50 games and starting 31 in his first season, Melton was sent to Memphis in July in a four-player deal. It marked the second time he had been traded, after being dealt from Houston to Phoenix before playing his first game. “I’m not worried about one year; I’m worried about 10 years, 15 years,” Melton said. “People have had crazier stories.”

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