The Grizzlies have re-signed Kalin Lucas and Hassan Whiteside, the team announced in a press release. The additions of Lucas and Whiteside today bring the Grizzlies’ roster count to 16 players, an allowance likely made because of the 20-game suspension that Nick Calathes is serving. The length and terms of the deals were not disclosed, though they are likely non-guaranteed, minimum salary arrangements.
This marks Lucas’ third stint with the Grizzlies this season, as he was with the Grizzlies during the summer league and the preseason before the franchise cut him a few days shy of opening night. Lucas was then re-signed to provide depth behind starting point Mike Conley, who had been nursing a tender ankle. He was waived for the second time on November 9th.
Lucas has not made a regular season appearance for Memphis after playing in all eight of the team’s preseason games, averaging 3.1 points and 1.0 assists in 8.0 minutes per contest. He contributed 17.0 PPG and 3.4 APG in 33.4 MPG during his senior year with the Michigan State Spartans in 2010/11 before logging time in Turkey, Greece and the D-League over the first three years of his pro career.
This will be Whiteside’s second deal with the Grizzlies this season. He was originally signed on September 25th and he appeared in five preseason games averaging 3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks before being waived on October 22nd.
The league may grant hardship exceptions to the 15-man roster limit when a player goes down with an injury or illness after at least three players have already missed at least three games with injuries or illnesses of their own, as long as all four are expected to continue to miss time. A virus has sidelined Tony Allen, Kosta Koufos, Courtney Lee, Jon Leuer and Beno Udrih for the Grizzlies tonight, though none have missed as many as three games yet.
That means it’s most likely that the allowance for a 16th roster spot springs from the team’s ability to transfer Calathes to the Suspended List. Teams may do so once a player suspended by the league has sat out for five games. Calathes, who received the suspension in April, has already served 18 games, spanning last season’s playoffs and the start of the 2014/15 regular season, and his placement on the Suspended List allows the Grizzlies to add an extra player in his stead.