Grizzlies Rumors

Grizzlies Officially Waive Marc Gasol

After acquiring him from the Lakers last Friday, the Grizzlies have officially waived center Marc Gasol, as expected, per a press release from the team.

The trade that sent Gasol from Los Angeles to Memphis was a salary-dump deal that saw the Grizzlies acquire a future second-round pick and cash. Despite Gasol’s history with the franchise, the plan was never for the Grizzlies to keep him — Memphis has too many players on guaranteed contracts, and the 36-year-old big man wanted to remain in Spain with his family rather than playing in the NBA this season.

A report over the weekend indicated that Gasol intends to sign with Girona, the Spanish team he owns. His NBA release today frees him up to officially complete that move.

A three-time All-Star and the NBA’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol spent the 2020/21 season with the Lakers, but his relationship with the team soured after L.A. signed Andre Drummond as its new starting center in the second half. The Lakers didn’t re-sign Drummond this offseason, but added centers Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, paving the way for Gasol’s exit.

The Grizzlies’ release of Gasol briefly reduced their roster count to 19 players, allowing the team to complete its one-for-two trade with the Celtics. After that deal, Memphis is back to the 20-man offseason roster limit.

Grizzlies Trade Hernangomez To Celtics For Dunn, Edwards, Pick Swap

SEPTEMBER 15: The trade is now complete, according to press releases from the Grizzlies and Celtics.

The Grizzlies, who completed another trade since agreeing to this one, officially waived Marc Gasol in order to create room on the roster to finalize this deal.

SEPTEMBER 3: The Grizzlies and Celtics have agreed to a trade that will send forward Juan Hernangomez to Boston, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Sources tell Wojnarowski that the deal will send Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and a 2026 second-round pick swap to Memphis.

The trade can’t be completed until September 15, when the aggregation restriction on Dunn lifts, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Dunn was traded from Atlanta to Boston on August 7.

By trading two players for one, the Celtics will clear a minor roster crunch. The team had been carrying 16 players, including 15 on fully guaranteed deals. This move will give the team the flexibility to keep Jabari Parker on its regular-season roster or leave its 15th spot open to start the season. Dunn, acquired last month, wasn’t in the team’s plans, and Edwards hadn’t evolved into a reliable rotation player since being selected 33rd overall in the 2019 draft.

Hernangomez, meanwhile, will give Boston another frontcourt option. The 25-year-old stretch four had a mediocre year in 2020/21, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.9 RPG on .435/.327/.619 shooting in 52 games (17.3 MPG). However, he has flashed some potential in the past, making 35.9% of his career three-pointers prior to last season.

As for the Grizzlies, they appeared to be moving closer to setting a 15-man regular season roster last week when they bought out Rajon Rondo, but this deal has them heading in the other direction once again. When it’s complete, Memphis will have a full 20-man roster, with 18 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts.

While it’s possible Dunn or Edwards is in the Grizzlies’ plans for 2021/22, that’s probably not a safe assumption, given the way Memphis has been moving on from recently-acquired players in recent weeks (Hernangomez, Rondo, and Patrick Beverley). As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, this trade saves Memphis a tiny bit of money and earns the team a 2026 second-round pick swap — those small gains may have been all the motivation the Grizzlies needed to pull the trigger.

The Grizzlies have traded away their own 2026 second-round pick, but control the rights to either Indiana’s or Miami’s pick (whichever is most favorable). The swap with Boston will likely allow them to trade that pick for the Celtics’ 2026 second-rounder if they so choose.

Hernangomez, Dunn, and Edwards are essentially all on expiring contracts. Hernangomez has a non-guaranteed salary for 2022/23, Edwards has a team option, and Dunn will be an unrestricted free agent.

No team has completed more trades this offseason than the Grizzlies — this will be their sixth deal since the regular season ended. It will be the Celtics’ fifth offseason trade.

Grizzlies Notes: Bane, Offseason, Adams, Celtics Trade

Grizzlies sharpshooter Desmond Bane officially has new representation. After leaving Seth Cohen of SAC Sports Family earlier this offseason, Bane has signed with agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports + Entertainment/YouFirst, according to the agency’s Instagram.

Bane’s new agent won’t have to negotiate a second contract for him for a while yet. Having just been drafted in 2020, Bane is entering the second season of his four-year rookie contract, and won’t be eligible for a rookie scale extension until the 2023 offseason. If he doesn’t sign a new deal that year, he’d reach restricted free agency in 2024.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • In his look back at the Grizzlies’ offseason, Zach Harper of The Athletic assigns the team a grade of B-minus. Harper acknowledges that the team didn’t really upgrade its roster, but notes that Memphis’ young players have room to continue improving, and the club is well-positioned to keep building for the future.
  • Within Harper’s recap, John Hollinger of The Athletic says Steven Adams won’t have a bigger overall impact than Jonas Valanciunas, but suggests the team is hoping Adams can improve the team’s pick-and-roll defense. While Adams isn’t super-versatile, he’s a bit more capable of switching than Valanciunas and may be better suited to stay on the floor in fourth quarters, in Hollinger’s view.
  • Memphis’ trade agreement that will send Juan Hernangomez to Boston in exchange for Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and a second-round pick swap should be completed this week. Dunn’s aggregation restriction will lift on Wednesday, at which point the Grizzlies and Celtics will be free to move forward with their deal.
  • The Grizzlies are in position to end up with three first-round picks in the 2022 draft, as we detailed earlier today.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Culver, Cash, Nielsen

No team has been more active this summer than the Grizzlies, who have made six trades and have a reported seventh deal looming with the Celtics, but the moves have mainly been to cut salary and collect future assets rather than to provide any immediate on-court benefit, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Four of the players Memphis has acquired have already been traded or waived, assuming Juan Hernangomez gets shipped to Boston, Barnes notes. He adds that Daniel Oturu, who was part of a deal with the Clippers, is unlikely to remain on the roster when the season starts.

Barnes points out that the deals didn’t address the Grizzlies’ most pressing needs, which are three-point shooting and scoring off the bench. Starters Jonas Valanciunas and Grayson Allen were traded away, and Barnes sees their likely replacements, Steven Adams and Ziaire Williams, as a step down.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Even if Jarrett Culver earns a roster spot with the Grizzlies after two disappointing seasons in Minnesota, it figures to be a short-term arrangement, Barnes adds in the same story. Memphis has a November 1 deadline to pick up Culver’s $8.1MM option for 2022/23, and Barnes doesn’t expect the team to make that commitment so early in the season.
  • Former WNBA star Swin Cash talked about her front office role with the Pelicans during an interview with Alexa Philippou of The Hartford Courant. “Coming in, the biggest thing was (executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin) let me know because of what I was bringing, he really needed me to be that person, that glue, that can see what we need, can get in front of it, can build it and understanding the player’s perspective, understanding the front office perspective,” Cash said. “And so that’s how I kind of approach my day. I wear multiple hats, but I’m never too far away from decisions that are being made within our organization and having a seat at that table and being able to contribute in a very organic way.”
  • Matt Nielsen is the latest young coach who should benefit from being on Gregg Popovich’s staff, observes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express News. Nielsen, who is replacing Will Hardy, continues the Spurs‘ preference for hiring inexperienced coaches whenever they have an opening.

Pacific Notes: Gasol, Drummond, Thompson, Wiseman, Johnson

The Lakers’ signing of Andre Drummond after the trade deadline soured the franchise’s relationship with Marc Gasol, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link). Gasol lost his starting job and that created a rift that could not be resolved, Oram adds. Gasol was traded to the Grizzlies on Friday, though he’ll be waived and will remain in Spain with his family.

Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register runs with the same theme, noting that Gasol called his season with the Lakers “chaotic.” The Lakers signaled this week that Gasol wouldn’t return when they signed DeAndre Jordan.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are sending their own 2024 pick with no protections in the Gasol deal with the Grizzlies, Bobby Marks of ESPN confirms (via Twitter). The Grizzlies are also receiving $250K in the deal, Marks adds.
  • There will be plenty of pressure on Klay Thompson and James Wiseman to produce for the Warriors during the upcoming season, Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. It’s unlikely that the Warriors’ floor-spacing will improve until Thompson’s return, and they need Wiseman to develop into a frontcourt force in order to become a contender again.
  • Suns wing Cameron Johnson has changed representation, hiring agents Ty Sullivan, Steve Heumann, Melvin Booker and Simone Capers of CAA Basketball, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Johnson, who is entering his third season in the league, averaged 8.2 PPG in 21 game during Phoenix’s postseason run to the Finals. Johnson, a 2019 lottery pick, is extension-eligible next offseason. Melvin Booker is Devin Booker‘s father.

Lakers Trade Marc Gasol, Second-Rounder, Cash To Grizzlies

4:57pm: The trade is official, according to a Grizzlies press release (Twitter link).

1:38pm: The Grizzlies remain active on the trade market, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Memphis has agreed to acquire Marc Gasol, a 2024 second-round pick, and cash from the Lakers in exchange for the draft rights to 2016 second-rounder Wang Zhelin.

The swap will send Gasol back to the team with whom he earned three All-Star berths and a Defensive Player of the Year award, but the reunion will be short-lived. As Wojnarowski explains, the Grizzlies and Gasol have already agreed that he’ll be waived in order to allow him to remain in Spain with his family.

Gasol told reporters following Spain’s elimination from the Olympics last month that he intended to continue his NBA career and play out the last year of his contract with Los Angeles. However, there had been increasing chatter in recent weeks that suggested the veteran center had played his last game as a Laker. As Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group tweets, the “writing was on the wall” for Gasol following L.A.’s signing of DeAndre Jordan on Thursday.

It’s unclear if Gasol is set to retire as a player or if he simply won’t seek a new team right away after being released by the Grizzlies. Either way, the move will open up a roster spot for the Lakers and save them some money, even after accounting for the cash they send to Memphis in the deal.

Taking into account Gasol’s $2.69MM salary and the accompanying luxury-tax penalty, Wojnarowski estimates that L.A. will recoup about $10MM. The Lakers will have 13 players on guaranteed contracts once the deal is finalized, leaving two spots open on the 15-man roster, though the club may only fill one of them for the start of the regular season.

Los Angeles also gets the rights to Wang, the 57th pick in the 2016 draft. However, it looks like he was just included to make the deal legal — he seems unlikely to sign an NBA contract anytime soon.

As for the Grizzlies, this will be their seventh trade of the summer, including the Juan Hernangomez deal with Boston that’s not yet official. Like many of Memphis’ other trades, this one won’t move the needle much, but allows the team to acquire a minor asset in the form of a 2024 second-rounder. That pick will be the Lakers’ own and is unprotected, per Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link).

Until that Hernangomez deal is done, the Grizzlies have an open spot on their 20-man offseason roster, so they’ll likely look to complete the acquisition of Gasol and then release him before finalizing their deal with Boston, in order to avoid having to cut anyone.

The Grizzlies can acquire Gasol without matching salaries because he was signed using the minimum salary exception last offseason and can be acquired using the same exception. The Lakers will create a small trade exception worth Gasol’s outgoing salary ($2.69MM).

Evaluating Recent Celtics-Grizzlies Trade Featuring Kris Dunn

29 Of NBA’s 30 Teams Have Made At Least One Offseason Trade

So far during the NBA’s 2021 offseason, a total of 32 trades have been made, including the not-yet-official deals between the Grizzlies/Celtics and Nets/Pistons that were reported earlier today. Of the league’s 30 teams, 29 have been involved in those deals — the Nuggets are the only team that hasn’t forayed into the trade market at least once since the regular season ended.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Offseason Trades]

After today’s trade agreement, Memphis is the only club that has completed six deals during the 2021 offseason. The Grizzlies acquired some extra draft assets from New Orleans as a reward for taking on Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams, moved up 10 spots in the draft to select Santi Aldama, sent Grayson Allen to Milwaukee, flipped Bledsoe to the Clippers for three players, then sent one of those three players (Patrick Beverley) to Minnesota in exchange for Juan Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver before flipping Hernangomez to Boston.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are one of just two other teams that has agreed to five trades so far this offseason. New president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has been busy in his first summer on the job, striking the first deal of the offseason when he sent Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City. The team also acquired Josh Richardson from Dallas, traded away Tristan Thompson in a three-team deal, created a trade exception by signing-and-trading Evan Fournier, and agreed today to acquire Hernangomez.

The Pelicans are the other club that has made five trades so far this summer. Three of New Orleans’ trades came as a result of selling off picks in the July 29 draft, but the other two were significant moves — the Pels landed Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham (via sign-and-trade) in a three-team deal with Memphis and Charlotte, and acquired Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple in the sign-and-trade sending Lonzo Ball to Chicago.

Here are a few more details on this offseason’s 32 trades:

  • The Bulls, Clippers, Knicks, and Thunder have each made four trades, with the Hornets, Nets, Pacers, Spurs, and Jazz completing three.
  • The Pistons, Cavaliers, Rockets, Bucks, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers have made two trades apiece, while 11 teams have been involved in just one trade.
  • Three of this offeason’s 32 trades have been three-teamers, while one (the Russell Westbrook/Spencer Dinwiddie deal) included five teams. The other 28 deals were just two-team agreements.
  • Nearly half of this summer’s trades (15 of 32) included at least one 2021 draft pick — either the pick itself was dealt before the draft started, or the rights to a player were traded after he was selected on July 29.
  • Eight of this offseason’s deals included a free agent being signed-and-traded. One of those eight – the Bulls/Pelicans deal – featured multiple players being signed-and-traded, with Ball heading to Chicago and Temple going to New Orleans.
  • Eight first-round picks from future drafts (ie. 2022 and beyond) changed hands this offseason in six different deals. However, all of those picks were fairly heavily protected — all of them had at least top-10 protection.

Grizzlies To Retire Randolph, Allen Jerseys; Bane Changing Agents

  • The Grizzlies plan to retire the jerseys for two key members of the team’s “Grit and Grind” era, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ll retire Zach Randolph‘s No. 50 on December 11 and Tony Allen‘s No. 9 on January 28.
  • Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane is changing agents, according to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal, who tweets that Bane has left Seth Cohen of SAC Sports Family and is in the process of hiring new representation. Bane is still two years away from being extension-eligible for the first time.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Benson, Brandon Boston, THJ

In an extensive new mailbag, Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian addressed the possibility of the Grizzlies considering trades for incumbent wings Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson, among other topics. Herrington wrote that, though an offseason Anderson trade appears unlikely, he could see the veteran forward’s expiring $9.9MM contract being moved during the year.

Because Brooks’s current three-year, $35MM contract extension with the club is fairly favorable, Herrington considers him less likely to be moved. Herrington also speculates on how the new-look Grizzlies can improve in a stacked Western Conference.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has donated $1MM towards Hurricane Ida relief, per an official press release from Benson and the Pelicans.
  • The Pelicans received $2.5MM in cash considerations from the Clippers in New Orleans’ trade of No. 51 pick Brandon Boston out of Kentucky, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The Pelicans also received a heavily-protected 2022 second-round draft pick in the deal that appears unlikely to convey.
  • Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., newly re-signed on a four-year, $75MM deal, registered his optimism about the future performance of former All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis, as Eddie Sefko of relays. So far during his time in Dallas, Porzingis has been a shadow of his former self as the result of a series of injuries. “I know he’s back in Latvia busting his tail right now to get back to where he was before the injury when we were with the Knicks,” Hardaway said. “I know how much he loves the game and how much he works. He’s going to do whatever he can to get back to that level. Injuries do play a part in the game.”