Maozinha Pereira

Grizzlies Sign Zavier Simpson, Jack White Via Hardship Exceptions

The Grizzlies have re-signed guard Zavier Simpson following the expiration of his initial 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Simpson, 27, appeared in three games during his first 10 days with Memphis, averaging 5.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 24.0 minutes per night. He made just 22.7% of his field goal attempts, though he did knock down 3-of-8 three-pointers (37.5%).

The Grizzlies have also signed forward Jack White, according to today’s announcement. It will be White’s first time back on an NBA roster since he was waived by Oklahoma City in October.

White, who appeared in 17 NBA regular season games in 2022/23 as a member of the Nuggets, has spent this season with the South Bay Lakers in the G League. In 29 total appearances for the Lakers’ NBAGL affiliate, he averaged 9.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.8 APG on .442/.321/.595 shooting.

Both Simpson and White were technically signed to 10-day contracts via hardship exceptions, which the Grizzlies qualified for due to the number of injured players on their roster. The deals will cover only the six days left in the regular season, however, before both players return to free agency. The club won’t hold any form of Bird rights this offseason on either player.

White will take Maozinha Pereira‘s spot on Memphis’ roster. Like Simpson, Pereira was on a 10-day contract that expired overnight on Monday, but it was his second 10-day deal with the Grizzlies, so he was ineligible to sign another one. The team is now carrying three extra players beyond its standard 15, with Simpson and White joining hardship signee Timmy Allen.

Grizzlies Sign Simpson, Pereira To 10-Day Deals

March 30: The Grizzlies officially signed Pereira to a second 10-day deal and added Simpson on a 10-day contract, the team announced (Twitter link).

March 29: The Grizzlies plan to sign free agent guard Zavier Simpson to a 10-day contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Memphis will also re-sign forward Maozinha Pereira to a second 10-day deal, Wojnarowski adds.

A 6’0″ point guard who went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020, Simpson holds one year of NBA experience, having signed a 10-day deal with Oklahoma City at the very end of the 2021/22 season. He appeared in four games and got extended playing time, averaging 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block in 43.5 minutes per contest.

Simpson has spent the majority of his four professional seasons playing in the NBA G League, suiting up for the affiliate teams of the Thunder, Magic and Pistons. He has spent the entire ’23/24 campaign with the Motor City Cruise (Detroit’s affiliate), averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 48 combined regular season and Showcase Cup games (36.6 minutes).

A rookie who hails from Brazil, Pereira averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 6.5 minutes during his first four games with Memphis. He had spent the ’23/24 season with the NBAGL’s Mexico City Capitanes before inking his first NBA contract with the Grizzlies.

Memphis technically has a full 18-man roster, but they’ve been shuffling through 10-day signees throughout the season via hardship exceptions, which is how they’ll be able to sign Simpson and re-sign Pereira.

Southwest Notes: Exum, Alvarado, Grizzlies, Rockets

In an interesting story for Yahoo Sports, Jake Fischer describes how Mavericks guard Dante Exum was able to make it back to the NBA after spending two seasons out of the league.

An Australian who sustained multiple major injuries early in his career, Exum only had G League offers in the U.S. and Canada after he was released by Houston in October 2021, and he decided that playing in Europe (for Barcelona and Partizan) was a better pathway for his future.

It’s always a risk. Not many people go to Europe and are able to come back,” Exum said. “It’s hard to get back.

Exum, 28, was considered a raw prospect when he was drafted fifth overall back in 2014. While he showed promise defensively and as a play-maker, he often struggled with scoring efficiency. However, he posted impressive shooting splits in Europe and that has continued in his first season in Dallas — he’s shooting 50% from deep (40-of-80) through 43 games (19.4 MPG), with an excellent 65.6 true shooting percentage.

I think it’s just comfortability, consistency and confidence,” Exum said, per Fischer. “That was the one thing I’ve tried to improve. But I think a lot of times when you’re shooting and you miss one, you kinda get in your head a little bit. I try not to let that happen anymore. At what point do you become a shooter in the sense of how many am I willing to miss before I stop shooting? And I want that number to be high.”

The Mavericks have been much better when Exum is on the court in 2023/24, Fischer writes, particularly when he’s been paired with Luka Doncic. Exum’s $3.15MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, but it would be surprising if Dallas doesn’t keep him around, considering how well he has fit in as a role player.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Pelicans backup point guard Jose Alvarado makes a big impact on the defensive end despite his diminutive stature, writes Christian Clark of (subscriber link). “It starts with his heart,” head coach Willie Green said. “He plays with his heart and soul every game. It’s hard to bottle that up into a stat. Then you add his instincts. He has tremendous on-court defensive instincts. It’s why he was ACC Defensive Player of the Year. With all the talent in that conference, it was him. He only knows how to play one way. That’s the beautiful part about Jose. He brings it 110% every time he steps on the floor.” New Orleans has a 104.9 defensive rating — 3.5 points per 100 possessions stingier than Minnesota’s league-best mark — when Alvarado is on the court, Clark notes.
  • The injury-ravaged Grizzlies set an unfortunate franchise record on Wednesday when 10-day signee Maozinha Pereira made his NBA debut, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The Brazilian forward, who had been playing for Mexico City in the G League, became the 29th player to appear in a game for the Grizzlies this season, breaking a 28-player mark set in two previous seasons.
  • Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link) lists 14 college prospects for Rockets fans to monitor with the NCAA Tournament underway. Some players mentioned include Purdue’s Zach Edey, UConn’s Stephon Castle and Donovan Clingan, and Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham. The Rockets control Brooklyn’s 2024 first-round pick, which is currently projected to be No. 8 overall. The fate of their own first-rounder depends on multiple different factors, but as of right now it would likely be conveyed to Oklahoma City as part of a previous trade.

Grizzlies Add Maozinha Pereira Via 10-Day Contract

MARCH 20: The Grizzlies have officially signed Pereira, the team’s PR department tweets.

MARCH 19: The Grizzlies are signing young forward Maozinha Pereira to a 10-day deal, sources inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Pereira had most recently been playing with the G League’s Mexico City Capitanes.

In 40 Showcase Cup and NBAGL regular season games with Mexico City, the 6’8″ pro is averaging 10.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in just 23.7 minutes per game. He boasts a shooting line of .621/.297/.627.

Pereira is the second player said to be joining the Grizzlies on a 10-day hardship contract. Shooting guard DeJon Jarreau has also reportedly agreed to a second 10-day deal, with his first contract set to expire on Tuesday night.

Several of the 23-46 Grizzlies’ key forwards are ailing, so it makes for the team to replenish its supply, at least temporarily. Power forward/center Brandon Clarke remains out as he continues to recuperate from an Achilles tear, combo forward Lamar Stevens is unavailable with an adductor injury, and small forwards Ziaire Williams and Yuta Watanabe are both on the shelf due to a grade 2 hip strain and a personal issue, respectively.

Guards Ja Morant and Derrick Rose, plus wing Marcus Smart, are also sidelined for a Memphis team that has been the NBA’s most injury-plagued squad this season.