Grayson Allen

Winslow To Make Grizzlies Debut Saturday

6:42pm: Winslow will be active for tonight’s game, the Grizzlies announced (via Twitter).


2:38pm: More than a year ago after being traded to the Grizzlies, Justise Winslow could make his Memphis debut on Saturday.

Winslow is listed as questionable against Phoenix on Saturday by the team’s PR department (Twitter link).

Winslow was part of the package the Grizzlies received from the Heat for Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder last February.

Winslow hasn’t played since last January 8, initially due to a hip injury. He was expected to return in March but the pandemic delayed his debut.

During the summer restart in Orlando, Winslow suffered a left hip displacement. He has been rehabbing from that injury during the first 25 games this season.

Winslow, the 10th pick of the 2015 draft, needs to reestablish himself, since he could be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The team holds a $13MM option on his contract for next season.

Coach Taylor Jenkins may not have much choice but to use him, since Kyle Anderson, Grayson Allen and Brandon Clarke are being rested in the second part of a back-to-back while starting shooting guard Dillon Brooks is sidelined by a right thigh injury. Anderson has emerged as the team’s starting power forward with Winslow sidelined.

Winslow, 24, has averaged 9.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 2.7 APG in 241 career games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Schroder, Allen, Grizzlies, Kennard

Dennis Schroder‘s contract situation is one of the reasons why Alex Caruso isn’t logging more minutes, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register speculates. After acquiring Schroder from the Thunder during the offseason, the Lakers are hoping to convince him to sign an extension instead of allowing him to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason. That’s why it is in the team’s best interests to keep Schroder in a starting role and give him steady minutes even though his offensive production has dipped significantly compared to last season.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen will not be active on Saturday against San Antonio due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Allen joined center Jonas Valanciunas on the list, as Memphis prepares to play for the first time since January 18. Valanciunas indicated on social media he’s recovered from COVID-19 and rejoined the team, though he’s not expected to play until next week.
  • The Grizzlies will allow MVP season ticket holders to attend games starting on February 4 against Houston, Barnes indicates in a separate story. That will raise capacity inside FedExForum to just under 2,000 fans, or 11% capacity. The Grizzlies have allowed up to 74 season ticket holders to sit courtside, as well as 220 additional fans in suites and club boxes.
  • Luke Kennard missed a good chunk of last season with Detroit due to tendinitis in both knees. Now a key reserve for the Clippers, Kennard is grateful for all the rehab he last season, as he told Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “It helped so much more than I could have thought and now I’m feeling great, my body feels great and I’m moving well,” Kennard said. “I hated it at the time — didn’t hate it, but it just took a while. It was pretty hard. Looking back now, I’m grateful and thankful I went through it.” Kennard signed a four-year extension in December.
  • Even if the Warriors show improvement over the course of the season, they’re no better than the best of a mediocre group of Western Conference teams contending for a playoff berth, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes.

Southwest Notes: Hammon, Richardson, Pelicans, G. Allen

When Becky Hammon took over the head coaching reins for the Spurs on Wednesday night following Gregg Popovich‘s ejection, she was focused on trying to “win the game” rather than the historical significance of the moment, as Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes. However, after the game, she was able to appreciate the fact that she had become the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA game.

“Obviously, it’s a big deal,” Hammon said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s a substantial moment. I’ve been a part of this organization, I got traded here (as a WNBA player) in 2007, so I’ve been in San Antonio and part of the Spurs and sports organization with the Stars and everything for 13 years. So I have a lot of time invested, and they have a lot of time invested in me, in building me and getting me better.”

The Spurs weren’t able to come back and knock off the defending champion Lakers in Hammon’s unexpected head coaching debut, but San Antonio players were happy to see her get a chance to run the show in Popovich’s absence.

“Any player who knows the history of women’s basketball knows what she meant to the sport,” Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. “You don’t think twice about it. She’s one of us. When she speaks, we are all ears.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • One of Josh Richardson‘s agents, Bill Duffy, tells Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News that his client’s fit in Philadelphia last season was “awkward” and that he and fellow agent Erik Kabe asked the Sixers about exploring trade options this offseason. “Josh has an opt-out after this year,” Duffy said. “So Erik and I were pretty candid with Philly that it was pretty unlikely he’d return, ‘so maybe you should have discussions.'” The Mavericks were Richardson’s preferred landing spot, and Dallas and Philadelphia were able to work out a deal that Duffy views as a “win-win.”
  • As they incorporate new additions Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe, the Pelicans are working on improving their chemistry – especially on offense – following a condensed offseason, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “It’s different from every other year because of the time,” Adams said. “Still man, it’s not impossible. Chemistry is just a weird thing. You can’t really rush it.”
  • Health issues continue to plague the Grizzlies, who saw Grayson Allen leave Wednesday’s game in the second quarter due to a left ankle sprain, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The club -which is already missing Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson, and Justise Winslow – will have to hope Allen’s sprain is a minor one.

Grizzlies Exercise Options On Four Players

The Grizzlies have exercised contract options for the 2021/22 season on Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke and Grayson Allen, the team announced in a press release (via Twitter).

Morant, the second pick in the 2019 draft, had an outstanding first season, capturing Rookie of the Year honors and helping the Grizzlies reach the playoffs. He averaged 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 67 games. Morant is part of the foundation for the future in Memphis, along with Jackson, the fourth overall pick in 2018, who averaged 17.4 points and 1.6 blocks per game last season.

Clarke set a rookie record in 2019/20 by shooting 61.8% from the floor. He posted a 12.1/5.9/1.4 line in 58 games, earning a spot on the All-Rookie team and finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Allen, who was acquired from the Jazz last summer, averaged 8.7 PPG in 38 games in his first season with the Grizzlies.

Morant’s third-year option for ’21/22 will be worth $9.6MM, while Clarke’s has a value of $2.7MM. The fourth-year options for Jackson and Allen will pay them $9.2MM and $4.1MM, respectively.

Lou Williams Expected To Play In Restart; Beal Still Undecided

Seven players so far have opted out of the NBA’s restart this summer, but Clippers guard Lou Williams is unlikely to join that group. Despite previously expressing uncertainty about his status, Williams is expected to suit up for the Clippers as they pursue a title at Walt Disney World, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday.

“As far as Lou, all indications (are) that yes, he is (playing),” Rivers said on a Zoom call, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “Obviously, up until we get on the plane, anything can happen. But I do expect Lou to be with us. I would be very surprised if he’s not.”

Meanwhile, another high-scoring guard, Bradley Beal, remains uncertain about his status for Orlando, as Youngmisuk writes in a separate story. Beal’s teammate Davis Bertans has already pulled out due to injury concerns ahead of his upcoming free agency. Beal’s backcourt mate and fellow All-Star John Wall won’t be in attendance either, as he continues to focus on his Achilles rehab and a 2020/21 return.

According to Youngmisuk, Beal is considering health factors too as he weighs his options.

“I have yet to make (my decision),” Beal told reporters on Wednesday. “I am still working my tail off every single day as if I am playing. It is more or less a decision that will come down to the medical staff and coming back from zero to 100, and then I have some nagging stuff from the end of the year that we are trying to clean up, too. We are looking at it from all angles. I am definitely working out every single day here. It is good to be back in the facility. … I am not swayed one way or another.”

Here’s more on certain players’ participation decisions:

Grizzlies Rule Grayson Allen Out Indefinitely, Recall Josh Jackson

Another Grizzlies bench player will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, as the team announced today in a press release that Grayson Allen will be out indefinitely with a hip injury. According to the club, the injury – which occurred when Allen fell awkwardly on his left leg during Friday’s game vs. Detroit – will require “offloading” to heal.

A first-round pick in 2018, Allen was acquired by Memphis in last summer’s Mike Conley blockbuster. The second-year shooting guard has been limited to 30 games this season due to health issues, but has had a fairly regular rotation role when healthy. He was averaging 7.2 PPG on .494/.375/.833 shooting in the 16 games leading up to his injury.

The Grizzlies are now down three roster players, with Bruno Caboclo on the shelf due to a knee injury and Andre Iguodala away from the team while he awaits a trade. Jae Crowder also missed Sunday’s game with knee soreness, though there’s no indication that’s a major issue.

To add some depth to their rotation, the Grizzlies have recalled former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson for the first time this season, according to the team (Twitter link). Jackson, also acquired in a trade last summer, has spent the entire 2019/20 campaign in the G League, averaging 20.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.4 SPG in 26 games for the Memphis Hustle.

As Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian observes (via Twitter), the Grizzlies had been reluctant to call up Jackson to the NBA roster without a clearer path to playing time. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be inserted into the rotation with Allen out, but at the very least, he’ll travel with the team for now and provide emergency depth.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/14/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • One day after assigning the pair, the Bucks have recalled Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Dragan Bender from the team’s G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, according to a tweet from the team’s official account (link). Bender scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Herd’s win over the Capital City Go-Go on Wednesday, while Antetokounmpo finished with 14 points.
  • Like Milwaukee, the Kings recalled rookies Wenyen Gabriel and Justin James just one day after sending them both down to the team’s G League affiliate for a game (Twitter link). The Stockton Kings beat the Sioux Falls Skyforce yesterday, with Gabriel scoring 20 points and James adding 17.
  • Per a team press release, the Timberwolves have recalled forward Keita Bates-Diop from the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate. Bates-Diop is averaging 22.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over two games in the G League this season.
  • The Clippers have recalled both center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Derrick Walton Jr. from their G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s official PR account tweeted out this afternoon. The pair was assigned on Tuesday.
  • With no practice on the schedule for today, the Grizzlies assigned guards Grayson Allen and De’Anthony Melton to the Memphis Hustle for their practice, according to a tweet from Memphis’ PR account (link). Allen’s assignment is in connection with rehab of his sore left ankle, while Melton’s is tied to a long-term conditioning and performance plan.

Grizzlies Exercise Contract Options On Jackson Jr., Allen

The Grizzlies have exercised their 2020/21 contract options on big man Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Grayson Allen, according to a team press release.

Jackson, the fourth pick in the 2018 draft, averaged 13.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 1.4 BPG during his rookie campaign. He’ll now make a guaranteed $7,257,360 next season after collecting approximately $6.93MM during his second season. The option was a mere formality for Memphis, which is building around Jackson and 2019 lottery pick Ja Morant.

Allen was selected with the No. 21 overall pick last year by the Jazz. He averaged 5.6 PPG in 10.9 MPG over 38 appearances with Utah.

Allen was part of the package Memphis received in the Mike Conley blockbuster. Allen, who is making approximately $2.43MM this season, will receive $2,545,320 in 2020/21. Allen is competing for minutes at shooting guard with Dillon Brooks and European import Marko Guduric.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Powell, House, Grizzlies

The Pelicans have become the latest NBA franchise to add a female assistant coach to their ranks, announcing today in a press release that WNBA Hall-of-Famer Teresa Weatherspoon has joined the franchise as a player development coach.

According to the Pelicans, Weatherspoon and newly-hired coach A.J. Diggs will serve as two-way assistant coaches, working closely with the club’s two-way players and accompanying them as they go back and forth between the Pelicans and the Erie BayHawks. Currently, New Orleans’ two-way players are Josh Gray and Zylan Cheatham.

“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”

Weatherspoon is the second former WNBA star to be hired the Pelicans this offseason, joining Swin Cash, who was named the club’s VP of basketball operations and team development.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Southwest…

Grizzlies Trade Mike Conley To Jazz

JULY 6: The trade sending Conley to the Jazz is now official, per the NBA’s transactions log. Darius Bazley, who was selected with the No. 23 overall pick last month, will be re-routed from Utah to Oklahoma City in a subsequent deal, while Korver will be sent to Phoenix.

JUNE 19: The Grizzlies and Jazz have reached an agreement on a trade that will send standout point guard Mike Conley to Utah, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Memphis will receive a package made up of Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen, the No. 23 pick in the 2019 draft, and a future first-round pick. Per Wojnarowski (via Twitter), that second first-rounder will be a 2020 pick, which features protections through 2024.

Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian provides the full details on those protections, tweeting that the Grizzlies will get the pick in 2020 or 2021 if it falls in the 8-14 range. If it doesn’t convey in either of those drafts, it would become top-six protected in 2022, top-three protected in 2023, and top-one protected in 2024.

The deal will be completed once the new league year begins in July for cap reasons, according to Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). The Jazz will have to absorb Conley using their newly-opened cap room, but won’t necessarily have to waive Derrick Favors‘ non-guaranteed contract to make the deal work, Marks notes (via Twitter).

It’s a huge acquisition for the Jazz, who will be able to pair Conley with Donovan Mitchell in their backcourt, with Favors and Rudy Gobert up front and Joe Ingles providing floor spacing on the wing.

[RELATED: Ricky Rubio not counting on return to the Jazz]

Conley, 31, is coming off perhaps the best season of his NBA career, having averaged a career-high 21.1 PPG to go along with 6.4 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.3 SPG, and a .438/.364/.845 shooting line.

Utah reportedly tried to land Conley at the trade deadline, putting an offer on the table that featured expiring contracts and a first-round pick, but that wasn’t enough to get Memphis to accept. The Jazz figured to face competition for the point guard from possible suitors like the Pacers, Heat, Celtics, and Mavericks when they circled back this offseason, but they were able to get a deal done early in the summer.

The Jazz can now focus on filling out their roster with complementary players. With Conley’s lucrative contract set to hit their books, they’ll no longer be a player for major free agents, but will have the room exception available. It’s projected to be worth $4.76MM.

Conley is owed $32.5MM in 2019/20 and $34.5MM in 2020/21 before his contract expires in 2021. His deal aligns him with Utah’s other core pieces — currently, Mitchell and Gobert are both on track to reach free agency in 2021 as well.

As for the Grizzlies, they’re expected to shift into rebuilding mode after trading long-time cornerstones Marc Gasol in February and Conley now. They’re poised to select Ja Morant with the No. 2 overall pick in tomorrow’s draft to supplant Conley as their point guard of the future. He and Jaren Jackson Jr. project to be the franchise’s building blocks going forward.

It’s not clear yet whether the Grizzlies intend to keep all the players and draft picks they’re acquiring in exchange for Conley. Crowder and Korver are on fairly modest expiring contracts (Korver’s salary is only partially guaranteed) and could appeal to contenders. Allen and the picks, on the other hand, represent solid assets for Memphis’ rebuild, though David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears that the club will listen to offers for the No. 23 selection.

The Grizzlies are also in position to create a massive traded player exception in the swap, assuming they remain an over-the-cap team. Cap expert Albert Nahmad estimates the value of that exception to be about $25MM (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.