6:37pm: The signing is official, pursuant to the NBA’s hardship roster rules, according to a team press release. The Grizzlies took advantage of the league’s rule tweaks and made it a 10-day contract, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.
12:31pm: The Grizzlies are set to complete the first NBA transaction of the 2021 calendar year, with Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting (via Twitter) that the club has reached a deal to sign free agent point guard Tim Frazier.
While terms of the deal haven’t been reported, it will almost certainly be a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract.
Frazier, 30, has a total of 272 regular season NBA games for six teams under his belt. In 2019/20, he appeared in 27 games for the Pistons, averaging 3.6 PPG and 3.4 APG on .362/.333/.792 shooting in 13.1 minutes per contest. He was cut by Detroit last February to accommodate a deadline-day trade.
The Grizzlies don’t currently have an open roster spot available, but won’t have to waive a player to add Frazier, since they’ll sign him via the hardship provision, according to Charania.
The NBA can grant a team a hardship exception when that team has at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury or illness and are expected to miss at least two more weeks. A hardship exception allows the club to add an extra player to its 15-man roster, increasing its roster limit to 16. When one of the four injured players is ready to return, the team must once again reduce its roster count to 15.
The Grizzlies have been without Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), Justise Winslow (hip), and Jontay Porter (knee) all season so far, and recently lost Ja Morant for several weeks due to an ankle sprain. Morant missed his third consecutive game on Sunday, making Memphis eligible for a hardship exception.