Jontay Porter

Grizzlies Waive Jontay Porter

The Grizzlies have waived big man Jontay Porter, the team’s PR department tweets.

Porter came off the bench in 11 games last season but only averaged 4.9 MPG.  Porter, 21, went undrafted in 2019 out of Missouri.

Porter, the brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., underwent multiple knee surgeries before making his NBA debut in April. He also played for the team’s G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, at the Orlando bubble.

Porter was signed to a three-year, $6MM deal last November but the salaries in the last two years of the deal were not fully guaranteed. He would have been owed $1.95MM for next season if he had remained on the roster past August 18th.

Memphis will incur a $300K cap hit for waiving Porter, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

Southwest Notes: Wall, DeRozan, Pelicans, Porter

Rockets point guard John Wall, now waylaid indefinitely with a right hamstring strain, believes he is still a high-level player, telling reporters over the weekend that he feels he’s still “an All-Star in this league,” per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Wall appeared in 40 games for Houston, his first on-court action since December 26, 2018, and averaged 20.6 PPG, 6.9 APG, and 3.2 RPG, while connecting on 40.4% of his field goal looks.

“Nobody really thought he would be able to play at a level, probably, too close to what he’s playing right now,” head coach Stephen Silas said of Wall’s play this season. “He’s proving a lot of people wrong and proving a lot to a lot of people. I’m his biggest fan.”

Feigen adds in a separate story that Silas remains hopeful Wall can still return to the court for the Rockets before the end of the year.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan has been reliably solid on offense in late-game scenarios, writes Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m pretty sure San Antonio — as fans, the organization — appreciates him,” fellow Spurs guard Dejounte Murray noted of his veteran teammate, who will reach free agency this summer.
  • Despite 2019 No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson making his first All-Star team and Brandon Ingram, an All-Star in his own right last season, having another strong year, the Pelicans will almost certainly fall short of their playoff expectations for this season, as Scott Kushner of details. The Pelicans are currently four games behind the tenth-seeded Warriors for a crack at the play-in tournament, with just 11 games left to play for both teams.
  • It took multiple knee surgeries, but Grizzlies power forward Jontay Porter finally made his NBA debut last month, nearly three years after his last college game. Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal examines Porter’s journey to this point. The 21-year-old out of Missouri, younger brother to Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., has now appeared sparingly in eight games for Memphis.

Southwest Notes: Lamb, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Luka

At 18-16, the Mavericks are currently the No. 8 seed in the West. Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News takes a look at potential trades ahead of the March 25 deadline that could help Dallas move into the Western Conference’s top tier.

Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal and Hawks power forward John Collins (a restricted free agent this summer) are among the higher-impact targets Dallas could pursue to pair with All-Star guard Luka Doncic. Veteran Pelicans wing J.J. Redick could be a more realistic addition.

There’s more out of the Southwest:

  • New Rockets forward Anthony Lamb raved about the club, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). “It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Lamb said. “Just being able to play with them is awesome. I’m so grateful for the chance.” Lamb had been playing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ G League affiliate. He highlighted his familiarity with the Vipers’ system (which is modeled after Houston’s) when discussing his transition to Houston, Berman tweets. “It’s gonna make it a lot easier to make it simple for myself,” Lamb said.
  • The Grizzlies have announced (Twitter link) that they have recalled Jontay Porter from their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, and have transferred two-way player Sean McDermott back to the Grizzlies as well. Across nine contests for the Hustle, Porter averaged 7.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG and 1.2 BPG. McDermott averaged 17.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 1.5 for the club’s NBAGL affiliate.
  • Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News wonders if a trade could help the Mavericks spread the wealth and yield a more balanced offensive attack for the club. This could prove particularly beneficial to point guard Luka Doncic, currently quarterbacking the club’s offense at a high usage rate.

Southwest Notes: Lewis, Bey/Hinton, Stone, Porter

Rookie Pelicans point guard Kira Lewis Jr. has carved out further playing time with New Orleans, per Scott Kushner of the Times-Picayune. “He’s just so young,” head coach Stan Van Gundy said of the 19-year-old rookie, the No. 13 draft pick out of Alabama in 2020. “But he does so many good things. Trying to figure out how we throw him into that rotation is something we are definitely thinking about.”

Van Gundy expounded on his interest in exploring more time on the court for Lewis as the Pelicans’ 2020/21 season progresses: “Does that mean every single night? Does it mean 20 minutes a game? Does it mean 12 minutes a game? I can’t give you a definitive on that yet. But I do think I want him to play.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Two-way Mavericks rookies Tyler Bey and Nate Hinton have been sent to the NBA G League’s Long Island Nets to participate in the NBAGL 2021 season in Orlando, per an official team tweet.
  • Rockets GM Rafael Stone has exhibited an aptitude for being able to tinker with his roster quickly, Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle writes. Stone’s haul after trading away All-Star James Harden – led by wing Victor Oladipo – has impressed on the court. Houston is currently riding a six-game win streak to climb into the top eight teams within the competitive Western Conference.
  • The Grizzlies are sending forward Jontay Porter to the the club’s G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, for the 2021 NBAGL season in Orlando, according to a team press release.

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 Jontay Porter To Three-Year Deal

6:11pm: The deal is official, according a Grizzlies press release.

12:30pm: The Grizzlies and restricted free agent forward Jontay Porter have agreed to terms on a new three-year, $6MM deal, his agents at Priority Sports tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Porter, who went undrafted in 2019 out of Missouri after tearing his ACL for a second time, was once considered a top prospect but has yet to play in an NBA game due to those knee injuries. Still, the Grizzlies seem to believe in his upside, having signed him to a contract before the end of the 2019/20 season in anticipation of him being ready for training camp later in the year.

Although the Grizzlies turned down Porter’s team option earlier in the week, they made him a restricted free agent and had Non-Bird rights on him, allowing for a deal that exceeds two years without using the mid-level, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter). It appears it’ll also be worth a little more than the minimum.

Jontay Porter Becomes RFA For Grizzlies

In a bit of convoluted maneuvering, the Grizzlies opted to decline their $1,517,981 team option for big man Jontay Porter ahead of the 2020/21 season. After this, Memphis extended a qualifying offer to Porter, making him a restricted free agent, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

[RELATED: NBA Team Option Decisions For 2020/21]

The younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., Jontay went undrafted out of Missouri in the 2019 NBA draft, but was signed by the Grizzlies on March 8, 2020, days before the league was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. The younger Porter has yet to play in an NBA game, making the 21-year-old a technical incoming rookie.

During his lone healthy season in Missouri circa 2017/18, Jontay Porter averaged 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.7 BPG, and 0.8 BPG across 33 games. He was named the SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year during that freshman run.

Porter has been hampered by significant knee injuries already during his young career. The 6’11” big man tore his ACL and MCL in a scrimmage ahead of his sophomore season for the Tigers in October 2018. Porter then tore his ACL in the same knee a second time in March, 2019.

Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian tweets that it is in the Grizzlies’ best interest to decline their one-year team option on Porter. Herrington explains that making this move will give the club more avenues to sign Porter to a longer-term deal should Memphis want to retain him.

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 “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 Sign Jontay Porter To Multi-Year Deal

The Grizzlies have signed rookie forward/center Jontay Porter to a multi-year contract, the team announced in a press release on Sunday.

The deal is guaranteed through this season and contains a team option for the 2020/21 season, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic tweets. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian adds (via Twitter) that Porter will earn a league-minimum salary.

Porter, the younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., has progressed well in his rehab from two separate knee injuries and is projected to be ready by training camp in the fall, the release states. Memphis will use Jarrod Uthoff‘s roster spot to sign Porter, with Uthoff’s 10-day deal recently expiring.

Porter, 20, went undrafted last June after spending multiple seasons at Missouri. Despite the fact that he tore his ACL multiple times during his college career, he was still viewed by ESPN as a top-50 prospect when he declared for the draft last April.

Northwest Notes: O’Neale, Jazz, Nuggets, Wolves

While the Jazz‘ 2019 playoff run was short-lived, Royce O’Neale‘s performance in the team’s five-game series vs. Houston was encouraging. A role player who averaged 20.4 minutes per game during the regular season, O’Neale increased his averages across the board against the Rockets, recording 10.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 27.4 MPG.

The 25-year-old forward was also frequently tasked with the defensive assignment of guarding James Harden, and said that the MVP candidate gave him words of “encouragement and motivation” at the end of the series, as Aaron Falk of details.

“Just goes to show all the hard work that I’ve put in isn’t taken for granted,” O’Neale said. “A lot of people are showing respect when it’s due. Earning that respect from him was one of the good moments. It made me feel like I’m becoming somebody in this league.”

The Jazz enter the offseason prepared to make some changes to a roster that hasn’t been able to get over the hump in the playoffs over the last two years. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll part ways with O’Neale, despite the fact that his 2019/20 salary is non-guaranteed — at a rate of $1,618,520, he’ll likely be one of the league’s better bargains next season.

Here’s more from around the Northwest: