Jarell Martin

Jarell Martin Signs With Chinese Team

Former Magic and Grizzlies forward Jarell Martin has signed with the Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets.

Martin has been looking for a team since the Cavaliers waived him during training camp.

Martin was signed by Cleveland in September on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.

Martin, 25, was selected out of LSU with the No. 25 overall pick in 2015. He spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Grizzlies before being dealt to the Magic in July 2018. Martin played sparingly in Orlando, averaging 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 42 games (7.8 MPG).

In 184 career games that includes 40 starts, Martin has averaged 5.4 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 15.9 MPG.

Cavaliers Waive Jarell Martin

The Cavaliers have waived forward Jarell Martin, Chris Fedor of The Athletic tweets.

The move reduces their roster to 13, suggesting another transaction may be forthcoming. The team has discussed the possibility of claiming forward Alfonzo McKinnie, who was waived by the Warriors, Fedor reports in another tweet. They could also be in the market for another big man, due to injury concerns regarding John Henson and Ante Zizic, Fedor adds.

The roster count does not include two-way players Dean Wade and Tyler Cook.

Teams are technically required to have at least 14 players on standards contracts, though they are allowed to skate by with 13 for two weeks at a time.

Martin was signed in September on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.

Martin, 25, was selected out of LSU with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2015 draft. He spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Grizzlies before being dealt to the Magic in July 2018. Martin played sparingly in Orlando, averaging 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 42 games (7.8 MPG).

Cavaliers Waive Four Players

The Cavaliers have made a series of roster cuts, announcing tonight in a press release that they’ve waived guards Daniel Hamilton, Sindarius Thornwell, and J.P. Macura, as well as forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The club now has 16 players under contract.

Hamilton, Thornwell, Macura, and Luwawu-Cabarrot were all on non-guaranteed contracts in Cleveland, so releasing them won’t have an impact on the team’s cap. According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers are hopeful that Hamilton and Macura, in particular, will end up joining the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate.

All four players have some NBA experience, with Thornwell and Luwawu-Cabarrot seeing the most action in 2018/19. Thornwell, 24, appeared in 64 games for the Clippers, while Luwawu-Cabarrot, a former first-round pick, played in 50 contests for the Thunder and Bulls.

The Cavs are currently carrying 13 players with guaranteed salaries and one player on a two-way contract, so there are at least two openings available on the roster to start the regular season — one two-way deal and at least one spot on the 15-man roster (teams are permitted to carry just 14 players on standard contracts).

While Jarell Martin and Marques Bolden are the two camp invitees who remain under contract, that doesn’t mean they’re assured spots on the Cavs’ final roster, sources tell Fedor. With a ton of cuts expected across the NBA over the next several days, Cleveland will continue to monitor the rest of the league for potential roster additions, Fedor adds.

Cavaliers Sign Jarell Martin

The Cavaliers have signed free agent forward Jarell Martin to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), Martin will get the opportunity to compete in training camp for one of the team’s open roster spots.

Martin, 25, was selected out of LSU with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2015 draft. He spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Grizzlies before being dealt to the Magic in July 2018.

Martin didn’t play much of a role in Orlando in 2018/19, averaging 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 42 games (7.8 MPG). His best season came in Memphis a year earlier when he recorded 7.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 73 contests (22.8 MPG) for the Grizzlies.

Currently, the Cavaliers have 16 players under contracts, including 13 on guaranteed deals and one on a two-way contract. However, the club has also reportedly agreed to sign Sindarius Thornwell, J.P. Macura, and Marques Bolden. Assuming those deals – and Martin’s – are finalized, Cleveland would be at its 20-man offseason roster limit.

Malik Newman and Levi Randolph are already on non-guaranteed contracts with the Cavs, so they’d presumably compete with Thornwell, Macura, Bolden, and Martin for the open roster spot(s) and possibly a two-way contract slot.

Magic Notes: Vucevic, Ross, Clifford, Birch

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman knows he’ll have to fight off multiple suitors to retain Nikola Vucevic‘s services, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports. While re-signing Vucevic is a priority, Weltman realizes there are teams with cap space that feel the same way.

“Vooch is going to have a lot of teams who will make him a priority for them, too. … Hopefully, we can get something done,” Weltman said. “You know, it’s the NBA, and as I always say, there’s a lot of real estate between the intentions and what gets done. But it is a priority for us.”

Vucevic is eligible for a max contract of five years and $189.7MM with the Magic or a four-year, $140.6MM deal with another franchise. Vucevic indicated he’s open to re-signing with Orlando as long as Weltman backs up his words.

“Everybody knows I’ve had a great seven years here,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ll see what happens. It’s a mutual decision, and it’s not just me.”

We have more on the Magic:

  • The team’s other prominent free agent, forward Terrence Ross, is also interested in returning, Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Ross enhanced his value this season by averaging 15.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG as the team’s sixth man while making a team-best 38.3% of his long range attempts. “It’s fun to be a part of an organization that is doing the right things … getting rewarded for it,” Ross said. “It would be great to be back, but we’ll see.”
  • Forward Aaron Gordon believes the hiring of coach Steve Clifford last season was the biggest factor in the team reaching the postseason, as he explained to John Denton of the team’s website. “I feel like we learned how to win, and that was one of the things that had been lacking here – a culture, a know-how and a standard,” Gordon said. “Coach (Clifford) did a great job of bringing that back and instilling it in us and teaching us what it means to win. And our guys did a great job of responding and coming out with tremendous fight.”
  • Vucevic’s future with the organization could impact whether it brings back center Khem Birch, as Robbins notes in his offseason outlook. The front office can make Birch a restricted free agent by extending a $1.82MM qualifying offer. If the Magic are confident they’ll re-sign Vucevic, Orlando might not give Birch that QO since it has Mohamed Bamba in place as Vucevic’s backup. Jerian Grant and Jarell Martin are also eligible for QOs but the Magic will almost certainly allow them to become unrestricted free agents, Robbins adds.

Southwest Notes: Nowitzki, Casspi, Grunwald

Utilizing Dirk Nowitzki as a sixth man might be the best strategy for the Mavericks during the upcoming season, Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News opines. The team seems committed to start rookie guard Luka Doncic, so if Nowitzki also starts, that would thrust Wesley Matthews into a bench role, Sefko notes. Pairing Nowitzki with reserve guard J.J. Barea in pick-and-pop situations might be a more sensible route, Sefko adds.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Omri Casspi‘s offensive skills will provide a different element to the Grizzlies’ rotation than Jarell Martin, the player he essentially replaces, according to Michael Wallace of the team’s website. Casspi, who signed a one-year deal in July, probably won’t play as much as Martin did but Casspi shot 58% from the field and 45.5% from long range for the Warriors last season. His ability to space the floor with his long-range prowess and also cut to the basket will make him an asset, Wallace continues. Martin has more athleticism and defensive versatility than Casspi but never produced as consistently as the Grizzlies had hoped, Wallace adds.
  • Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald has accepted a consultant’s role with the Grizzlies, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports. Grunwald has also held preliminary negotiations with Canada Basketball, the country’s governing body for the sport, concerning its executive director opening, Smith adds. Grunwald left his post as the director of athletics and recreation at Canada’s McMaster University to join the Grizzlies organization.
  • What are the remaining offseason questions for Southwest Division teams? We take a closer look here.

Grizzlies In Limbo Between Contention And Rebuild

The Grizzlies are an interesting franchise to keep an eye on moving forward this season and beyond, as they are somewhat in a state of limbo – not quite rebuilding but not close to being a serious contender either – writes Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal.

To be sure, Memphis had a relatively nice offseason. They drafted a potential future franchise cornerstone in Jaren Jackson, they signed Kyle Anderson to the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception, and traded for veteran guard Garrett Temple. By midseason, all three could possibly join Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in the Grizzlies’ starting lineup.

Yet, as Conley says, because of the new pieces learning to fit in and difficulty of the Western Conference, it may turn out to be an “awkward” year in Memphis.

“This season, expectations are still try to be that playoff team, that team that comes out and really makes it tough on everybody. But it is an awkward year with so many teams getting so much better [with] different acquisitions they made in the offseason.”

In addition to adding Jackson, Anderson, and Temple, the Grizzlies also traded away relative disappointments Ben McLemore, Deyonta Davis and Jarell Martin, while adding rookie Jevon Carter, a potential throwback-type player to the Grit ‘N’ Grind era.

Ultimately, it’s probably still going to be difficult for Memphis to make the playoffs in the West, even assuming a 22-win improvement from last year that would see Memphis literally double the amount of victories from a season ago. As such, a rebuild is probably closer to fruition than title contention.

As Giannotto notes, only seven players (not including Gasol’s player option) are signed beyond this season, and only rookie Dillon Brooks had a meaningful role on last year’s team. Accordingly, one would think that most teams would begin rebuilding this season. Only time will tell if the Grizzlies choosing to do otherwise was the right call.

Grizzlies Trade Jarell Martin To Magic

9:00pm: The trade is official, according to press releases from the Magic and Grizzlies.

3:31pm: The Grizzlies have agreed to a trade that will send Jarell Martin and cash to the Magic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Memphis will acquire Dakari Johnson in the deal. Joshua Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel adds (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies will also receive the draft rights to 2015 second-rounder Tyler Harvey.

It’s the second time in the last week that Johnson has been traded. On Friday, Orlando acquired Johnson and cash from the Thunder in a deal that sent Rodney Purvis and his non-guaranteed contract to Oklahoma City. The move was a purely financial one for the Thunder, who figure to replace Johnson on their roster with a slightly cheaper rookie, reducing their projected tax bill.

Because Johnson wasn’t in the Magic’s plans, they’ll flip him to Memphis in another deal that has cap implications. The Grizzlies are right up against the luxury-tax line, so exchanging Martin and his $2,416,222 salary for Johnson ($1,378,242) will create a little extra breathing room for the club. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Grizz waive Johnson after acquiring him.

Martin, who was in danger of being cut by the Grizzlies last fall, had a strong camp and earned a spot in Memphis’ rotation for the 2017/18 season. In 73 games (36 starts), the 6’10” forward averaged 7.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG with a .446/.347/.767 shooting line.

Having played primarily at power forward last season, Martin likely would’ve seen his role reduced in Memphis this year — JaMychal Green, Kyle Anderson, Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi, and Jaren Jackson Jr. could all see action at the four. It’s not clear whether the 24-year-old will get more opportunities in Orlando, with Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac expected to earn most of the power forward minutes.

Johnson, 22, was selected by the Thunder with the 48th overall pick of the 2015 draft but didn’t sign his first standard NBA contract until 2017. The seven-footer appeared in 31 games last season for Oklahoma City, averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 5.2 minutes per contest.

Grizzlies Sign Omari Johnson, Cut Marquis Teague

The Grizzlies have made a roster change today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed forward Omari Johnson to a multiyear contract. To create an opening on the roster, Memphis has waived guard Marquis Teague.

Johnson, 28, went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2011 and has played for a variety of professional teams since then, spending time in Canada, Spain, and Lithuania, as well as in the G League. This season, the 6’9″ forward has played for the Grizzlies’ NBAGL affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, averaging 16.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG with a .460/.418/.824 shooting line in 44 games.

Johnson’s salary for 2018/19 will be non-guaranteed, notes Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com (Twitter link).

As for Teague, he only signed his rest-of-season deal with the Grizzlies three days ago, so his stint on a standard contract didn’t last long. Memphis may have preferred to get a longer look at a forward instead of Teague this summer after signing another guard – MarShon Brooks – to a multiyear deal today. Or the Grizzlies may have simply wanted to reward Teague with an NBA salary despite him not being a part of their long-term plans.

It’s also worth noting, according to Wallace (Twitter links), that the Grizzlies will be without forwards Jarell Martin (ankle) and Chandler Parsons (knee) for the season’s final four games, creating a need for some frontcourt depth. Wayne Selden (knee) will miss the rest of the season too, Wallace notes.

Southwest Notes: Smith, Davis, Harrison, Martin

Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. impressed with his performance in the Dunk Contest, finishing third behind winner Donovan Mitchell and runner-up Larry Nance Jr. While the exposure from being in the event was great for the youngster, Smith understands that it’s not a guarantee that he will be a future All-Star, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes.

“There’s a lot of guys who do the dunk contest that will never be in the All-Star Game,” Smith said. “But then again, I was in the Rising Stars. It’s all about timing. I’ll pace myself and whenever my time comes, I’ll be in there.”

Smith, 20, has been solid for the Mavericks this season, averaging 14.8 PPG and 4.9 APG. He has been mentioned in Rookie of the Year discussions alongside Ben Simmons and Mitchell.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Anthony Davis‘ evolution from All-Star game reserve to All-Star Game MVP to perennial All-Star has solidified him among the NBA’s elite, Scott Kushner of The Advocate writes. Davis has taken the appropriate steps to increase his worth, including a developed three-point shot and intense rebounding. The regular season progression has been special but Kushner questions Davis maintaining that effectiveness in the postseason.
  • Sunday’s All-Star game was supposed to be a celebratory moment for Davis and DeMarcus Cousins as they were the two Pelicans selected to the event. However, a season-ending torn Achilles heel sidelined Cousins for the rest of 2017/18 and cast doubt on whether or not the impending free agent will ever team with Davis again, Kushner writes in a separate story.
  • Jarell Martin and Andrew Harrison were not expected to be major factors for the Grizzlies this season, having been candidates to be released in training camp. Even though the team is out of contention, both players have been solid, Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal writes.