The Grizzlies officially signed center Bismack Biyombo overnight, adding a 16th man to what we refer to as their 15-man roster. Memphis gained the ability to carry an extra player by moving Ja Morant to the suspended list, which is available for players serving longer-term suspensions following the fifth game of the ban.
Morant’s suspension is for 25 games in total, so the Grizzlies will be permitted to carry that extra player for their next 20 games, through their December 18 contest in Oklahoma City. Once Morant is eligible to be activated from the suspended list on Dec. 19, Memphis will have to waive one of its 16 players in order to make room on the roster for him.
While we don’t know the details of Biyombo’s contract yet, it will likely be non-guaranteed so that the Grizzlies can waive him in December without being on the hook for a full-season salary. Memphis has no other players on non-guaranteed contracts, so if Biyombo proves invaluable and the team doesn’t want to let him go, a player with a guaranteed salary would have to be cut.
The only way the Grizzlies would be able to keep Biyombo and their 15 players on guaranteed deals beyond Dec. 19 would be if they qualify at that time for a hardship exception, which grants an extra roster spot to teams with at least four injured players (who meet certain games-missed criteria).
Here are a few more roster notes on teams from around the NBA:
- Memphis isn’t the only team with a player serving a lengthy suspension. Hornets forward Miles Bridges will serve the fifth game of his 10-game ban on Saturday, so Charlotte could move him to the suspended list and add a 16th man for the final five games of his suspension. There haven’t been any reports yet indicating the Hornets plan to do so. They don’t have an obvious glaring hole to address like the Grizzlies did in their frontcourt.
- After completing their blockbuster deal with Philadelphia and then trading Filip Petrusev to Sacramento, the Clippers are carrying just 13 players on standard contracts. Teams can only carry fewer than 14 players on standard deals for up to two weeks at a time, so Los Angeles will have until November 15 to add at least one player via free agency or trade.
- The Warriors began the regular season, nine days ago, with just 13 players on standard contracts, so the clock is ticking for them to add a 14th man of their own. Next Tuesday (November 7) will be the two-week mark, so that will be the deadline for them to make a roster addition.