Memphis is currently carrying 17 players on guaranteed contracts and must cut that number down to 15 before the regular season begins later this month. Herrington, who previously identified Hezonja and Guduric as the probable odd men out, says this is further confirmation that they’re the favorites to be waived if the Grizzlies don’t make a trade or two to trim the roster in the next couple weeks.
Hezonja, 25, averaged 4.8 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .422/.308/.814 shooting in 53 games (16.4 MPG) for Portland last season. After he exercised his minimum-salary player option for 2020/21, he was sent to Memphis in a three-team trade that saw the Trail Blazers acquire Enes Kanter.
As for Guduric, he signed a two-year, $5.4MM contract with the Grizzles in 2019. However, he fell out of the club’s rotation early last season and ended up just averaging 11.0 minutes per contest in 44 games. The Serbian shooting guard scored 3.9 PPG on .395/.301/.923 shooting.
As Herrington notes (via Twitter), assuming the Grizzlies release both Hezonja and Guduric, they won’t have to stretch either player’s guaranteed salary across three seasons in order to stay out of luxury-tax territory. However, the team could still decide to stretch one or both cap hits to create a little extra flexibility below the tax threshold.