In a bit of convoluted maneuvering, the Grizzlies opted to decline their $1,517,981 team option for big man Jontay Porter ahead of the 2020/21 season. After this, Memphis extended a qualifying offer to Porter, making him a restricted free agent, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).
[RELATED: NBA Team Option Decisions For 2020/21]
The younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., Jontay went undrafted out of Missouri in the 2019 NBA draft, but was signed by the Grizzlies on March 8, 2020, days before the league was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. The younger Porter has yet to play in an NBA game, making the 21-year-old a technical incoming rookie.
During his lone healthy season in Missouri circa 2017/18, Jontay Porter averaged 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.7 BPG, and 0.8 BPG across 33 games. He was named the SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year during that freshman run.
Porter has been hampered by significant knee injuries already during his young career. The 6’11” big man tore his ACL and MCL in a scrimmage ahead of his sophomore season for the Tigers in October 2018. Porter then tore his ACL in the same knee a second time in March, 2019.
Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian tweets that it is in the Grizzlies’ best interest to decline their one-year team option on Porter. Herrington explains that making this move will give the club more avenues to sign Porter to a longer-term deal should Memphis want to retain him.