Grizzlies Rumors

Grizzlies, Dakota Mathias Agree To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Grizzlies have reached an agreement to sign free agent shooting guard Dakota Mathias to an Exhibit 10 contract, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Mathias, who went undrafted out of Purdue in 2018, spent a season in Spain and then played in the G League for a year before getting his first shot in the NBA in 2020/21. He appeared in eight games with the Sixers while on a two-way contract that season, then saw action in six contests while on a pair of 10-day deals with the Grizzlies in 2021/22.

Mathias is a talented outside shooter, having made 41.9% of his three-point attempts in four college seasons with the Boilermakers and 39.4% of his tries in 46 G League games with the Texas Legends.

The Grizzlies likely view Mathias as someone who can play a regular role for their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, though his Exhibit 10 contract could technically be converted into a two-way deal before the season begins. Currently, Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Vince Williams are the Grizzlies’ two-way players.

While it’s possible that Mathias could receive consideration for a spot on Memphis’ 15-man regular season roster with a strong training camp and preseason, it seems unlikely, given that the team already has 16 players on fully or partially guaranteed standard contracts.

Western Notes: Clarkson, Huerter, Bertans, Brooks

With the future of the Jazz uncertain following the trade of Rudy Gobert and news that the team is open to moving its other 2022 All-Star (Donovan Mitchell), 2021 Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson is keeping an even keel, writes Sarah Todd of the Deseret News.

 “My vibe is always good,” Clarkson said of his attitude while dealing with the Jazz’s tenuous outlook. “This is my ninth year going into the league. I know how the business of basketball works… This is all part of what it is. But my preparation never changes and I’m going to wake up every morning and be me and do what I do. Everything is good.”

There’s more out of the West:

  • New Kings shooting guard Kevin Huerter is bringing his playoff pedigree to Sacramento and hopes to help Sacramento reach the postseason, writes Jarrod Castillo of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I feel like I’ve been through a lot there, having that playoff experience,” Huerter said. The 6’5″ wing added that he’s “hungry to win” with his new club.
  • In his first full season for the Mavericks, power forward Davis Bertans needs to return to the level of long-range shooting that earned him his current $80MM contract, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. During the 2019/20 season, Bertans connected on 42.4% of his 8.7 three-pointers a night. Last season, in 22 games for Dallas, he connected on 36% of his 3.9 looks a game, a solid but not elite percentage.
  • Veteran swingman Dillon Brooks appears likely to earn a contract extension offer from the Grizzlies, writes Chris Herring of the Daily Memphian in a subscriber-exclusive story. However, Herring expects Brooks to reject such an offer. During the 2021/22 season, Brooks was limited to just 32 games. When he could suit up, he averaged 18.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.8 APG and 1.1 SPG.

Southwest Notes: KPJ, Bane, McCollum, Nance

Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. appears to have earned a long-term look with the franchise. Houston and Porter have had initial discussions about the future of the extension-eligible 22-year-old, prompting Kelly Iko and Danny Leroux of The Athletic take a deep dive into what a new deal might look like for the fourth-year guard.

Leroux projects an annual number in the range of $10-15MM for Porter. Should the Rockets opt to not extend Porter and instead let him reach restricted free agency in the summer of 2023, Leroux notes that the market for the 6’4″ guard’s services could be dampened. Currently, just seven NBA clubs, including the Rockets, project to have cap space available to sign Porter for more than the mid-level exception.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Third-year Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane has evolved into a reliable locker-room leader, despite his relative greenness, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal“I’ve always been a vet [in terms of personal comportment], but now I’m a vet for real,” Bane said. “I don’t really think that too much has to change. I’ve always been the guy to lead by example, put my best foot in front of the other. That’s half of leadership right there.”
  • Pelicans veteran players CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., new additions to the team at the 2022 trade deadline, are extension-eligible this summer. Will Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic consider potential extension contracts for both New Orleans players. Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes that McCollum contributed as a versatile scorer and consistent ball-handler, while Nance helped the team in the less-glamorous role of flexible bench big. Clark notes that both players have shown interest in sticking around long term with an exciting young Pelicans club hot off its first playoff appearance in four years.
  • In case you missed it, the lucrative new extension inked by Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson includes a caveat that requires him to get consistent weigh-ins by New Orleans. Should the total of his body fat percentage and weight exceed 295, the team will be able to reduce the guaranteed portion of his salary.

Edwards: Wolves "Handed" Playoff Series To Grizzlies

  • In an entertaining conversation with Zion Olojede of Complex.com, Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards said that one of his goals for his third NBA season is to be an All-Star starter. Edwards also said he felt like the Wolves “handed” the Grizzlies their first-round playoff series this spring. “It was like taking candy from a baby and they took the candy,” Edwards said. “We had every game won, man, and I don’t know what happened.”

Clarke May Not Fit First Unit

  • Brandon Clarke would be a logical choice to replace Jaren Jackson Jr. in the Grizzlies‘ lineup until Jackson is ready to return from foot surgery. However, that would create other issues, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes. Clarke didn’t play much with center Steven Adams last season due to the fact that both operate out of the paint. Coach Taylor Jenkins also liked having Clarke on the second unit due to his scoring ability.

Jacob Gilyard Expected To Sign Exhibit 10 Deal With Grizzlies

Rookie free agent guard Jacob Gilyard is expected to sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Grizzlies, agents Keith Glass and Luke Glass tell ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Gilyard, who went undrafted last month, spent his entire five-year college career at Richmond, averaging 13.3 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.9 SPG on .395/.360/.860 shooting in 37 games (38.5 MPG) in 2021/22.

Gilyard earned All-Atlantic 10 honors in four of his five college seasons, was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, and became the all-time NCAA Division I leader in steals over the course of an impressive college career.

The 24-year-old suited up for the Warriors’ Summer League team at the California Classic earlier this month and then played for the Timberwolves in Las Vegas. He struggled with his shot, making just 5-of-18 field goal attempts (2-of-13 threes) across six games at the two events, but it appears the Grizzlies view him as a promising developmental project.

Memphis is facing a roster crunch and has already filled both its two-way contract slots, so Gilyard doesn’t have a clear path to a spot on the 17-man regular season roster. However, an Exhibit 10 deal would put him in line for a $50K bonus if he’s waived before the season and becomes an affiliate player for the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate.

Yves Pons Signs With French Team ASVEL

After spending his rookie year with the Grizzlies, free agent forward Yves Pons is headed to Europe for the 2022/23 season. Pons has signed a two-year deal with ASVEL Villeurbanne, the French team announced today in a press release (hat tip to Eurohoops).

Pons was born in Haiti and grew up in France, so while this will be his first professional season spent overseas, it won’t be an entirely new experience for him. He played in France’s amateur third-tier division before moving to the U.S., where he played his college ball at Tennessee.

Undrafted in 2021, Pons caught on quickly with the Grizzlies as a free agent and signed a two-way contract with the team last offseason. The 23-year-old only played 71 total minutes in 12 games at the NBA level, but saw a little more action at the G League level, starting 14 of the 15 contests he played for the Memphis Hustle.

Pons averaged 10.1 PPG and 6.2 RPG for the Grizzlies’ NBAGL affiliate, making 47.6% of his shots from the floor, including 33.3% of his threes. When his two-way deal with Memphis expired at season’s end, the club didn’t issue him a qualifying offer, so he became an unrestricted free agent.

Pons’ new team, which competes in France’s top league and the EuroLeague, is owned by former NBA star Tony Parker. ASVEL also recently signed former NBA guard Nando De Colo.

Who Will Replace Jaren Jackson?

Summer League Grades; Green, Tillie Vulnerable To Roster Crunch

  • Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal grades each of the Grizzlies‘ Summer League performances, giving undrafted rookie Kenneth Lofton Jr.who is signed to a two-way contract, an A. Lofton’s low-post scoring could provide something the current roster doesn’t have, Cole notes. On the other end of the spectrum is first-rounder Jake LaRavia, who received a C-minus from Cole due to his offensive passivity.
  • As we noted yesterday, the Grizzlies are among the teams facing a roster crunch entering training camp. In a separate story, Cole writes that Danny Green and Killian Tillie are likely to be the most vulnerable members of the roster at the moment, and if Lofton gets promoted to a standard deal, perhaps both of them could be traded or released.

Thunder, Rockets Among Teams Facing Roster Crunch

We’re approximately three months away from the deadline for NBA teams to finalize their rosters for the 2022/23 regular season, so there’s no urgency for those clubs to get their 15-man squads in order anytime soon.

Still, there are already a small handful of teams that are carrying more than 15 players on guaranteed contracts for ’22/23. Sooner or later, those teams will have to trade or release one or more of those players in order to get down to the regular season limit.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Roster Counts]

Here’s an early look at the teams that will have some decisions to make:


Teams with more than 15 guaranteed contracts:

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 17 guaranteed contracts
  • 1 partially guaranteed contract

The Thunder will technically dip to 16 players on fully guaranteed contracts once JaMychal Green‘s reported buyout is completed, but that number will climb back to 17 once Mike Muscala officially re-signs with the team.

There are a number of directions Oklahoma City could go with its final roster spots, but at least three players (besides Green) will have to be traded or released. The best candidates appear to be Derrick Favors, Ty Jerome, Theo Maledon, Darius Bazley, and Vit Krejci (who has the lone partially guaranteed contract).

None of those five players is owed guaranteed money beyond this season — Favors, Jerome, and Bazley are on expiring contracts, while Maledon and Krejci have non-guaranteed salaries beyond 2022/23.

By reaching a buyout agreement with Green, the Thunder signaled they’re not necessarily prioritizing keeping bigger expiring deals around for potential trades later in the offseason or during the season, so Favors ($10.2MM), Bazley ($4.3MM), and Jerome ($4.2MM) certainly aren’t locks to make it to opening night.

Houston Rockets

  • 18 guaranteed contracts

The Rockets’ roster surplus is largely a result of the four-for-one trade they made with Dallas for Christian Wood. Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, and Boban Marjanovic came to Houston in that deal, but reports have suggested that at least two or three of those players probably won’t be on the team’s opening night roster.

Marjanovic is said to be the most likely of the four to remain in Houston. Trading or waiving the other three would get the Rockets down to the 15-man regular season limit.

The club could also explore other moves to pare down its roster count. Eric Gordon and Kenyon Martin Jr. are among the players who have frequently been mentioned as potential trade candidates.


Teams with more than 15 players on standard contracts:

Note: Exhibit 10 deals aren’t considered standard contracts for the purpose of this section.

Memphis Grizzlies

  • 15 guaranteed contracts
  • 1 partially guaranteed contract

Danny Green looks like the probable odd man out in Memphis. His $10MM salary is only partially guaranteed (for $6.96MM) and he’ll likely miss most or all of the 2022/23 season while he recovers from a torn ACL.

Still, I wouldn’t consider that a lock quite yet. Green could be a valuable piece in the postseason if he has recovered by then — and if his recovery does take longer than he anticipates, his $10MM expiring contract could still be a useful asset at the 2023 deadline. Perhaps the Grizzlies will find a small deal involving a player like Santi Aldama, Killian Tillie, or Xavier Tillman before the season begins in order to make room on the 15-man squad for Green.

Toronto Raptors

  • 12 guaranteed contracts
  • 4 partially guaranteed contracts
  • 1 unsigned second-round pick

While second-round picks are often signed to two-way contracts or stashed overseas, that rarely happens for a player selected as high as Christian Koloko was (No. 33). Those players usually receive at least a couple guaranteed seasons, and I’d expect the Raptors to take that route with Koloko.

If they do, that would leave four players on partially guaranteed contracts – Justin Champagnie, Dalano Banton, Armoni Brooks, and D.J. Wilson – vying for the final two roster spots. If the Raptors want to keep more than one of those players, or if they’d like to promote two-way RFA David Johnson to the 15-man roster, Svi Mykhailiuk could be a release candidate, despite having a guaranteed minimum salary.

Philadelphia 76ers

  • 12 guaranteed contracts (once James Harden re-signs)
  • 2 partially guaranteed contracts
  • 2 non-guaranteed contracts

The Sixers don’t have a major crunch, but after Harden re-signs, there will only be three roster spots available for four players without full guarantees.

One of those players is Trevelin Queen, who has a $330K partial guarantee and was just signed this offseason. Those factors will likely give him a leg up on a 15-man roster spot. Charles Bassey also has a small partial guarantee (about $75K), while Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed are on non-guaranteed contracts.

In order to keep all four players, the Sixers would have to make a trade or a cut to reduce their roster count. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, and Shake Milton are among the players who have been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 13 guaranteed contracts
  • 2 non-guaranteed contracts
  • 1 RFA

At this point in the offseason, restricted free agent guard Collin Sexton looks like a solid bet to end up back in Cleveland. If he returns to the Cavaliers, they’ll have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens on non-guaranteed deals.

If the Cavs want to keep both Wade and Stevens, Dylan Windler could be the odd man out. He’s on an expiring contract and has struggled to find a place in the rotation while battling injuries in his first three NBA seasons.

Detroit Pistons

  • 15 guaranteed contracts
  • 1 signing to come

The Pistons have yet to formally sign Kevin Knox — they’re likely waiting to determine if and how they’ll use their cap room, since Knox’s reported two-year, $6MM deal could fit into their room exception if it has to.

Knox would be Detroit’s 16th player on a guaranteed contract, but the fix looks pretty simple. Kemba Walker‘s reported buyout agreement with the Pistons isn’t yet official. Once Walker is bought out and Knox signs, the team will be back at 15 guaranteed contracts.

Orlando Magic

  • 15 guaranteed contracts
  • 1 non-guaranteed contract

Barring a surprise, Devin Cannady – the only player without a guaranteed contract – will likely be the casualty of Orlando’s roster crunch.