John Konchar

Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Bane, Green, Konchar

Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant raised eyebrows earlier this week when he was asked by ESPN’s Malika Andrews in an NBA Today interview (video link) which teams around the league had caught his eye as opponents Memphis will have to “run through” to win a title. After Morant named the Celtics and fell silent, Andrews observed that he didn’t mention any Western Conference teams.

“Nah,” Morant said. “I’m fine in the West.”

Speaking to reporters later in the week, Morant didn’t back off those comments at all, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. In fact, while the All-NBA guard identified the Bucks as another team he might add to his list, he doubled down on his feelings about his Western rivals.

“Honestly, I don’t care about anybody else feedback but ours,” Morant said. “That’s how we feel. That’s how confident we are in our abilities and where we think we stand in the Western Conference.”

Here’s more out of Memphis:

  • Although the Suns were missing leading scorer Devin Booker, Memphis’ 25-blowout win over Phoenix on Friday showed just how good the Grizzlies can be when they’re at full strength, Cole writes for The Commercial Appeal. Desmond Bane was only 4-of-13 from the floor in his return from a toe injury, but he “played decisively and looked fluid in his movements,” according to Cole. The starting five of Morant, Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Steven Adams had a plus-44.8 net rating in its first 11 minutes together this season.
  • During ESPN’s broadcast of Friday’s game in Phoenix, Danny Green said he’s aiming to return from his ACL tear before February’s All-Star break, according to Evan Barnes of The Commercial Appeal. Green added that he did some 1-on-1 work on Friday for the first time during his recovery. “The knee is going smoothly,” the 35-year-old swingman said. “We’re in a good pace and hopefully you’ll see me before the break. That’s the target right now.”
  • Based on the current construction of the Grizzlies’ roster, Cole believes a healthy Green would likely take John Konchar‘s rotation minutes (Twitter link).
  • The Grizzlies will be in action on Christmas Day for the first time in franchise history. Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal explores what it means for the team to finally be considered one of the NBA’s marquee attractions.

Injury Updates: Harden, Wiggins, Poole, Grizzlies, Jazz

James Harden is on track to return tonight for the Sixers as they face the Rockets in Houston, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The star guard has been sidelined for a month with a right foot strain, missing 14 games in the process.

As much as I love basketball, I want to be out there to compete, especially for my teammates,” Harden said. “So this month has been patience, putting the work in, making sure I’m ready to come back and help this team get to where we can get to.”

Head coach Doc Rivers indicated on Sunday that Harden would be on a minutes restriction.

Hopeful, he’ll be ready for [Monday],” Rivers said. “And if he is, he’ll be in a limited role. But it’s still better to have him than not, if we can have him.”

After winning four of five, the Sixers have dropped two straight games and currently hold a 12-11 record.

Here are some more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins will miss Monday’s contest against the Pacers with right adductor tightness, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State guard Jordan Poole is questionable with an ankle injury, which he suffered on Saturday.
  • Grizzlies star Ja Morant is doubtful for tonight’s game vs. Miami due to left ankle soreness, Memphis announced (via Twitter). In addition to Morant, injury-replacement starter John Konchar (right toe soreness) and rookie forward Jake LaRavia (left foot soreness) are also doubtful, while All-Defensive big man Jaren Jackson Jr. has been ruled out on the second of a back-to-back for injury management (he had offseason foot surgery and just returned a few weeks ago). On a positive note, second-year wing Ziaire Williams, who has yet to play this season due to right patellar tendinitis, is listed as doubtful instead of out for the first time and was sent to the G League to practice ahead of Monday’s game (Twitter link). Head coach Taylor Jenkins recently said Williams was nearing a return.
  • Jazz veterans Mike Conley (knee) and Rudy Gay (hand) were full participants in Monday’s practice and both hope to play on Wednesday against Golden State, though they’re still experiencing some pain (All Twitter links via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune). If Conley returns Wednesday, he’ll likely be on a minutes restriction, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. The Jazz have missed Conley’s steadying influence, going just 2-6 over the past two weeks without their starting point guard.

Grizzlies, John Konchar Finalize Three-Year Extension

5:00pm: Konchar’s extension is now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log.


11:54am: The Grizzlies are signing John Konchar to a three-year, $19MM extension, his agent George Landberg tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

According to Wojnarowski, the deal will be fully guaranteed, and Konchar will now be locked up through the next five seasons, as he still has two years left on his current contract.

As we relayed a few days ago, Konchar’s $2.3MM salary for 2022/23 became guaranteed once he remained on the roster through this past Sunday. He had already been owed a partial guarantee of $840K.

Konchar, 26, went undrafted out of Purdue-Fort Wayne in 2019 after a four-year college career. As shown by Basketball Reference, Konchar is the only known former Mastodon to reach the NBA.

He was a solid role player for the Grizzlies in ’21/22, averaging 4.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .515/.413/.551 shooting in 72 games (17.9 MPG). An excellent rebounder for a guard, Konchar holds a career mark of 8.9 boards per 36 minutes.

In addition to his rebounding prowess, Konchar holds impressive career shooting percentages of 61.2% on twos and 40.6% on threes in 134 games (52.2% from the field overall). He’s also an intelligent ball-mover and solid defender, with a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.3:1.

De’Anthony Melton, another backup guard, was traded to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, so it’s possible that Konchar could have a bigger role next season. Either way, clearly the Grizzlies value his contributions, as evidenced by the fact that Konchar is under contract through ’26/27.

Once the extension becomes official, Konchar won’t be trade-eligible for six months.

Contract Notes: Konchar, Roby, Landale

John Konchar‘s contract with the Grizzlies called for his $2.3MM salary for 2022/23 to become guaranteed if he remained on the roster through Sunday, and there has been no reporting indicating that he and the team agreed to move that date back. As such, we’re assuming Konchar’s salary for ’22/23 is now locked in.

If that’s the case, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Konchar was a solid role player for the Grizzlies in 2021/22, averaging 4.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.5 APG with a .413 3PT in 72 games (17.9 MPG). His salary is relatively modest and he had already been owed a partial guarantee of $840K.

Konchar is one of many players on non-guaranteed contracts for 2022/23 whose salaries will become guaranteed this summer if they’re retained through certain dates. We’re tracking all of those players and decisions right here.

Here are a few more contract notes from around the NBA:

  • Although Isaiah Roby was earning a minimum salary ($1,930,681) when he was waived by the Thunder on Sunday, he had been on a four-year contract that was worth more than the minimum in year one, which means any team interested in claiming him off waivers can’t use the minimum salary exception to do so, as Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets. A club that wants to put a claim in on Roby would need the cap space to absorb his salary or a trade exception worth at least $1,830,681. Waivers claims are rare for non-minimum players, but Roby showed promise in Oklahoma City last season and could draw some interest.
  • Jock Landale‘s non-guaranteed minimum salary became partially guaranteed for $46,120 when he was traded from San Antonio to Atlanta last week, Hoops Rumors has learned. That was the exact amount that needed to be guaranteed for salary-matching purposes, as Landale’s $46,120 was added to Dejounte Murray‘s 2021/22 cap hit ($15,428,880) to get to within $5MM of Danilo Gallinari‘s incoming $20,475,000 figure (it was also partially guaranteed, but San Antonio needed to be able to match the whole incoming amount). The Hawks have since agreed to flip Landale to the Suns, and it doesn’t appear his partial guarantee will increase any further in that trade, since no salary-matching is involved.
  • In case you missed it, we relayed earlier today that Otto Porter‘s new deal with the Raptors is worth $12.4MM over two years. We’ll get more info on the specific details of contracts like Porter’s and many others beginning later this week, when the July moratorium lifts and those signings start becoming official.

COVID-19 Updates: Grizzlies, Harrell, Thybulle, Bolmaro, More

All the Grizzlies players who were recently placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols have now been cleared, head coach Taylor Jenkins said on Thursday evening (Twitter link via Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal). After three Memphis players exited the protocols on Wednesday, John Konchar and Xavier Tillman were the only players still affected — they’re apparently out of the protocols now too.

Here are more updates on COVID-19 and the health and safety protocols:

  • Wizards big man Montrezl Harrell has cleared the protocols and is questionable to play on Friday in Chicago, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Matisse Thybulle is no longer on the Sixers‘ injury report, as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, which is a good indication he’s out of the protocols.
  • Timberwolves rookie Leandro Bolmaro has entered the COVID-19 protocols, according to the team (Twitter link). He’s the only Minnesota player in the protocols for now.
  • The NBA’s latest injury report lists Mavericks guard Isaiah Thomas as simply “not with team” and Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman as probable to play on Friday in Portland as he takes part in return to competition reconditioning, so it sounds like both players have exited the protocols. However, Thomas has been ruled out for tonight’s game and his 10-day contract will expire overnight.
  • Hawks guard Chris Clemons has entered the protocols, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Clemons’ 10-day deal expires tonight, so his time in Atlanta could be over.
  • The NBA will continue daily COVID-19 testing of players who haven’t received a booster shot through the All-Star break, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. All players and coaches, regardless of vaccination status, will also continue to be tested daily through January 15, Wojnarowski adds.

COVID Updates: Schroder, Richardson, Bullock, Konchar, Ilyasova

Here are the latest developments on players entering or exiting the league’s health and safety protocols:

  • The Celtics got some good news, as Dennis Schröder and Josh Richardson have exited the COVID-19 protocols, Jared Weiss tweets. Schroder last played on Wednesday, while Richardson has been sidelined since Dec. 18. Boston plays the Clippers tomorrow.
  • Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock has cleared the protocols, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Mavs still have a handful of players in the protocols, including franchise player Luka Doncic. That group will miss Wednesday’s game against Sacramento.
  • Grizzlies guard John Konchar has entered the protocols, the team’s PR department tweets. Konchar contributed a combined 18 points and 23 rebounds in a back-to-back over the past two nights.
  • Forward Ersan Ilyasova, signed to a 10-day deal by the Bulls on Wednesday, has entered the protocols, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets.
  • Heat guard Max Strus entered the protocols shortly before the team’s game against Washington on Tuesday, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets.

Southwest Notes: Burke, Terry, Martin, Spurs, Konchar

The Mavericks used a portion of their mid-level exception to sign both free agent guard Trey Burke and No. 31 pick Tyrell Terry, as Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports details (Twitter links).

Burke’s three-year contract with the Mavericks, initially reported as a $10MM deal, actually has a total value of $9.45MM, starting at $3MM in 2020/21, per Smith. However, it does include a third-year player option and a 7.5% trade kicker, which would provide Burke with a modest bonus if he’s dealt before the contract expires.

Terry, meanwhile, will get a first-year salary of about $1.29MM, well above the rookie minimum. The final three years will be all be worth the minimum, with a team option on the final season, according to Smith. In total, Terry’s four-year contract with the Mavericks is worth $6.52MM, with $4.59MM in guaranteed money.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Rockets‘ four-year deal with KJ Martin (aka Kenyon Martin Jr.) is worth the minimum and is fully guaranteed in 2020/21 only, tweets Smith. His salaries for the three subsequent seasons will become guaranteed two days before the start of the offseason moratorium of each new league year.
  • Derrick White (recovering from toe surgery), Quinndary Weatherspoon (knee surgery), and Keldon Johnson (foot ailment) won’t be available when the Spurs begin practicing in the coming days, head coach Gregg Popovich said this week (link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). “I’m not sure exactly when they are coming back, but they won’t be there in the beginning,” Popovich said.
  • After signing a two-way contract as an undrafted rookie last season, Grizzlies guard John Konchar parlayed a strong first-year audition into a four-year deal with the team this fall. As Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes, Konchar got on FaceTime with his mother immediately after agreeing to terms with the club. “It seemed like she was about to cry. I mean, the feeling was just amazing,” Konchar said.

Western Contract Details: Grizzlies, KCP, Hood, Thunder

John Konchar‘s new deal with the Grizzlies, which will use part of the team’s mid-level exception, is guaranteed for the first two seasons, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In 2022/23, only $840K of Konchar’s full $2.3MM salary is guaranteed, and his $2.4MM salary for ’23/24 is non-guaranteed, Smith adds.

Konchar was one of a handful of Grizzlies who signed a multiyear contract that isn’t fully guaranteed on the back end. As Smith explains (via Twitter), De’Anthony Melton‘s four-year contract, which has a descending structure, only has a partial guaranteed of $1.5MM on his $8MM salary for 2023/24.

Meanwhile, Jontay Porter, who got a three-year deal, has a partial guarantee of $300K on his $1.95MM salary for 2021/22, then has a non-guaranteed $2MM salary in ’22/23, per Smith (Twitter link). Porter’s contract also came out of Memphis’ MLE.

Here are a few more contract details from around the Western Conference, all courtesy of Smith:

Grizzlies Sign John Konchar To Four-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 22: The Grizzlies have made their deal with Konchar official, announcing it in a press release.


NOVEMBER 21: The Grizzlies are signing swingman John Konchar to a four-year, $9MM deal, agent Happy Walters told Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Konchar, 24, was on a two-way contract with the team last season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in his 19 games. He spent most of his time with the team’s G League affiliate, holding per-game averages of 12.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 29.1 minutes. He received a qualifying offer from the Grizzlies earlier this week that made him a restricted free agent.

In addition to Konchar, Memphis also agreed to a new four-year contract with De’Anthony Melton on Saturday, plus two-way deals with Killian Tillie and Sean McDermott earlier in the week. The team lost forward Josh Jackson to Detroit when free agency began Friday night.

Konchar went undrafted in 2019, signing a two-way contract with the Grizzlies shortly thereafter. He spent four seasons at Purdue University Fort Wayne from 2016-19.

Suns’ Saric, Spurs’ Poeltl Among Players Receiving QOs

A series of players have received qualifying offers from their respective teams, making them restricted free agents this fall, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). Those players include Suns forward Dario Saric, Suns guard Jevon Carter, Grizzlies two-way guard John Konchar, Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, and Spurs two-way players Quinndary Weatherspoon and Drew Eubanks.

Saric and Poeltl are the most notable names in the group and were also the most likely to receive qualifying offers, since Phoenix and San Antonio will want to retain the ability to match offer sheets on those players. Saric’s QO is worth about $5.1MM, while Poeltl’s is for approximately $4.6MM.

Saric, Poeltl, and the other players who received qualifying offers could accept those one-year contract offers, but will likely try to negotiate new, longer-term deals, either with their own teams or with rival suitors.

The Pistons won’t be extending a qualifying offer to two-way player Jordan Bone, so he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster confirmed this week that the club will be making its annual qualifying offer to EuroLeague guard Nando De Colo, per Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link). Currently a member of Fenerbahce in Turkey, De Colo hasn’t played in the NBA since 2014, but would be a Raptors RFA if he wants to return, since Toronto has issued a QO each year since then.