Trey Jemison

Grizzlies Notes: Watanabe, Jackson, Jemison, Gilyard

Yuta Watanabe was initially “sad” when he found out from his agent that he’d been traded. When he heard he was going to the Grizzlies, his demeanor changed, he told the media (video link) after a team shootaround on Monday.

“I’m excited now. Good to be back here,” he said. “This is where my NBA career started … I’m a grown man now, playing with confidence. … I’m so much better than I used to be.”

Watanabe, who played 33 games for Memphis in his first two NBA seasons from 2018-20, was included in the three-team deal among the Grizzlies, Nets and Suns on Tuesday.

We have more on the Grizzlies:

  • Memphis signed GG Jackson to a four-year contract on Friday. The last year of the deal – 2026/27 – will be a team option, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Jackson had been on a two-way contract.
  • Jackson was not in uniform on Monday. He was held out by the club due to a violation of team rules, coach Taylor Jenkins told Jonah Dylan of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The rookie second-rounder had scored in double figures in his last four games.
  • Trey Jemison, who was added on a two-way deal on Friday, received a two-year contract, Scotto confirms (via Twitter).
  • Two-way player Jacob Gilyard is closing in on his 50-game NBA limit for the season, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Gilyard had only three games remaining entering Monday’s action. He is not eligible to be on the active roster once he reaches 50 games, unless he signs a standard contract.

Grizzlies Sign Trey Jemison To Two-Way Contract

The Grizzlies have filled their open two-way slot by signing rookie center Trey Jemison to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Undrafted out of UAB in 2023, Jemison was with the Pelicans in training camp and began the regular season with the Birmingham Squadron in the G League before signing 10-day deals with Washington and Memphis.

Jemison appeared in six total games for those two clubs and has played a key role for the Grizzlies as of late, averaging 5.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 21.0 minutes per night across four contests (21.0 MPG). He was the starting center for the injury-plagued team on both Sunday and Tuesday.

Jemison’s hardship 10-day contract with the Grizzlies expired following Thursday’s game, but the club isn’t wasting any time bringing him back. Memphis opened up a two-way spot on Friday by promoting GG Jackson to the 15-man roster.

Jemison will join Scotty Pippen Jr. and Jacob Gilyard as the Grizzlies’ two-way players, and Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian tweets that his contract will have the same structure as Pippen’s, which suggests it’ll be a two-year deal.

Memphis now has a full roster, but may still be eligible to add extra bodies via the hardship provision. Like Jemison, Matthew Hurt and Tosan Evbuomwan were on 10-day hardship deals with the team that expired this week.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Mavs’ Trade Prospects, Matkovic, Udoka

Thirteen of the Grizzlies‘ 15 players on standard contracts were sidelined by injuries for Sunday’s 40-point loss at Boston, writes Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. David Roddy and Luke Kennard were joined by three players on two-way contracts and three others on 10-day hardship deals as Memphis barely met the requirement of having eight active players for the game.

Coach Taylor Jenkins unveiled a makeshift starting lineup — his 30th of the season — consisting of Roddy, Kennard, G.G. Jackson, Trey Jemison and Jacob Gilyard. Jemison picked up two fouls in the game’s first minute, leaving 6’9″ forward Tosan Evbuomwan to match up with 7’3″ Kristaps Porzingis.

While the Grizzlies were clearly overmatched, some players are taking advantage of the opportunity. Cole singles out Jackson, who became the focus of the offense and scored 18 points on 24 shots, and Scotty Pippen Jr., who led the team with 19 points off the bench, as two who stood out.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Finding a power forward with size — preferably one who can shoot from the outside and contribute on both ends of the court — is the Mavericks‘ priority heading into Thursday’s trade deadline, multiple sources tell Tim Cato of The Athletic. He adds that the team could also use a backup center who can protect the rim, noting that Dallas is often forced to play zone against larger teams. Cato points out that rivals such as the Thunder and Jazz may be in the market for similar players and have more assets to offer than Dallas does.
  • Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News also assesses the Mavericks‘ trade outlook, observing that the 2027 pick is the team’s only tradeable first-rounder and suggesting that Josh Green, Jaden Hardy or Olivier-Maxence Prosper would likely have to be included in any significant deal.
  • As expected, Pelicans prospect Karlo Matkovic has left his KK Cedevita Olimpija team and is headed to New Orleans, according to Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. Matkovic’s role with the organization hasn’t been defined publicly, but the Pelicans have one opening on their 15-man roster and Malcolm Hill‘s 10-day contract is about to expire. It’s also possible that Matkovic, a 6’11” power forward/center, will be signed to a G League deal and join the organization’s affiliate in Birmingham.
  • Rockets coach Ime Udoka was disappointed after watching his offense sputter against one of the league’s best defenses in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “The lack of reaction was not making the easy play, making the easy pass to a teammate, driving into a crowd, trying to play through double-teams,” Udoka said. “A four-point game at half, we talked about … all these open shots that we left on the table by driving to a crowd (against) the No. 1 team defensively, top five in packing the paint, protecting the paint, what they give up in the paint.”

Grizzlies Sign Tosan Evbuomwan, Trey Jemison Via Hardship Exceptions

10:15am: The signings are official, the Grizzlies confirmed in a press release (Twitter link).

9:52am: The Grizzlies are signing forward Tosan Evbuomwan and center Trey Jemison to 10-day contracts, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links).

Memphis has a full 15-man standard roster and is actually carrying a 16th man – Matthew Hurt – after having been granted a hardship exception. According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the Grizzlies have been granted two additional hardship exceptions, so no cuts will be necessary to accommodate the new additions to the roster.

As we explain in our glossary, an NBA team qualifies for a hardship exception when it has four players unavailable due to injury or illness, assuming those players have missed at least three consecutive games and are expected to remain sidelined for two or more weeks. The Grizzlies have been granted three hardship spots because they have a total of six injured players who meet the criteria: Ja Morant, Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, Desmond Bane, Marcus Smart, and Jake LaRavia.

Evbuomwan, a rookie, went undrafted out of Princeton in 2023 and spent training camp with the Pistons before being designated as an affiliate player for Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise. In 29 games for the Cruise this season, he has averaged 15.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 34.5 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .559/.347/.731. He’ll get a chance to make his regular season NBA debut in Memphis.

Jemison, meanwhile, had been on a 10-day contract with the Wizards after spending most of the season with the Birmingham Squadron. The rookie big man, who went undrafted out of UAB last June, very briefly saw the floor in two games with Washington before his 10-day deal expired last night.

Well out of the play-in race in the Western Conference and with two of their most important players – Morant and Adams – sidelined for the rest of the season, the Grizzlies are using their hardship exceptions to take a look at some younger players rather than focusing on adding win-now veterans to a depleted roster.

If their deals are finalized today, Evbuomwan and Jemison will remain under contract through next Thursday (February 8). They’ll earn $64,343 apiece during their 10 days with the Grizzlies.

Wizards Sign Trey Jemison To 10-Day Contract

11:04am: The Wizards officially announced that they’ve signed Jemison to a 10-day contract (Twitter link via the team).

8:29am: The Wizards plan to sign Trey Jemison to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Jemison, a 7’0″ center out of UAB, is averaging 10.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks across 25 regular season and Showcase Cup games for the Birmingham Squadron in the G League this season.

Jemison went undrafted in 2023 after averaging 9.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in his senior season at UAB. As a rookie free agent, he joined the Suns for Summer League before signing an Exhibit 10 contract with New Orleans. He was then waived by the Pelicans and subsequently joined their G League affiliate in Birmingham.

Jemison will provide the Wizards with some frontcourt depth following their trade that sent big men Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala to Detroit. Starting center Daniel Gafford also hasn’t been cleared to exit the concussion protocol, leaving Washington further shorthanded up front.

The Wizards don’t have to waive anyone to make room for Jemison, as they have an open spot on the 15-man roster. Hamidou Diallo occupied the 15th spot through Friday by way of a 10-day contract, but it appears Washington won’t bring him back on a second 10-day deal at this time.

Diallo got into just two games with the Wizards during his 10 days with the club. He’s once again a free agent and it’s possible he’ll resume playing with the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate, where he was playing before signing his deal.

And-Ones: Nwaba, G. Robinson, Gillespie, Call-Ups

Former NBA wing David Nwaba is signing with the London Lions of the British Basketball League, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of (Twitter link).

After going undrafted out of Cal Poly in 2016, Nwaba caught on with his hometown Lakers. He also suited up for the Bulls, Cavaliers, Nets and Rockets from 2016-22, last playing for Houston in 2021/22.

The six-year veteran appeared in 237 regular season games during his NBA career, averaging 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. Known for his strong frame, athleticism and defense, Nwaba has spent most of the past two seasons playing for Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

The 30-year-old will be heading to Europe for the first time in his career.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently spoke to Glenn Robinson III about his NBA comeback attempt after stepping away from basketball for two years. The former second-round pick has been playing with the G League’s Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee’s affiliate) this season, averaging 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 39.1% from three in 12 Showcase Cup games (23.6 minutes). Robinson holds seven years of NBA experience and has been mentoring his young teammates, according to Fischer.
  • Nuggets guard Collin Gillespie, who is on a two-way deal, was named the NBA G League’s Player of the Month for December, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). According to Wind, Gillespie averaged 21.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 11.8 assists in six games last month for the Grand Rapids Gold (Denver’s affiliate). The former Villanova Wildcat missed all of last season with a lower left leg fracture.
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac takes a look at some NBAGL players who could be candidates for call-ups to the NBA, with Mac McClung, Jason Preston, Ethan Thompson, Darius Bazley and Trey Jemison among the players mentioned.

Pelicans Waive Five Exhibit 10 Players

The Pelicans have waived five players, according to the transactions log.

Guards Izaiah Brockington, Jalen Crutcher and Tevian Jones, forward Malcolm Hill and center Trey Jemison all have Exhibit 10 contracts, so they’ll probably end up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron. They can earn bonuses worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with the G League club.

Of the five, Jemison saw the most playing time during the preseason, appearing in four games and averaging 4.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per night. Crutcher and Hill both got into two games, while Brockington and Jones saw limited time in one game.

The moves leave New Orleans with 13 players who have fully guaranteed contracts, plus Jose Alvarado‘s non-guaranteed deal. The Pelicans only have two of their three two-way slots filled.

Evaluating NBA’s Open Two-Way Contract Slots

As our two-way contract tracker shows, 81 of the 90 available two-way slots available around the NBA are currently occupied, with nine still open as of Friday afternoon.

With the start of the season rapidly approaching, teams will begin cutting down their rosters en masse around October 21, which ensures players clear waivers before the start of the season on October 24. One way teams will manage their rosters before the season is by converting certain Exhibit 10 players to two-way contracts.

[Related: Checking In On NBA’s Two-Way Contract Slots]

Let’s take a look at each open two-way spot on a team-by-team basis and consider who could potentially fill those spots.

Brooklyn Nets

Open two-way spots: 1

The Nets are an interesting case because they don’t currently have anyone signed to the roster that makes sense as a two-way option.

They are reportedly signing Patrick Gardner to an Exhibit 10 deal, though that has yet to happen. Harry Giles, while technically eligible for a two-way deal, is not an option because he is signed to only an Exhibit 9 contract, which are ineligible to be converted if they don’t also include Exhibit 10 language.

For now, it seems as though Brooklyn will either keep the slot open to begin the year, claim someone on waivers from another team, or sign an outside option.

Dallas Mavericks

Open two-way spots: 2

Dallas waived Mike Miles on Saturday, giving them two open two-way contract spots. Two logical options to fill those spots, as we wrote, are training camp invitees Greg Brown and Dexter Dennis. Brown is still just 22 with two NBA seasons under his belt and was a consensus five-star prospect out of high school. Dennis averaged 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds with Texas A&M in his final collegiate season.

The Mavericks also signed Taze Moore to a camp deal on Monday, who averaged 10.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in his final collegiate season with Houston. All three appear to be in play for those final spots, though outside options are always possible.

Detroit Pistons

Open two-way spots: 1

The Pistons have one open standard spot, as well as their open two-way slot. It’s unclear what their plans are with those spots, but it’s possible they give both to players currently on their training camp roster. Stanley Umude, Tosan Evbuomwan, Buddy Boeheim, Zavier Simpson and Jontay Porter are signed to Exhibit 10 deals with Detroit.

Umude appears to have the inside track to a roster spot, whether standard or a two-way deal, given his play in the preseason. However, the Pistons are in a good position to claim a young player on waivers from another team if they chose to, so I’d expect them to at least explore that option.

New Orleans Pelicans

Open two-way spots: 1

The Pelicans also have one open standard spot in addition to their open two-way spot, but given their proximity to the tax, I’d expect them to keep their 15th standard spot open.

That leaves one two-way spot, and they have five players currently signed to Exhibit 10 deals in Jalen Crutcher, Izaiah Brockington, Trey Jemison, Tevian Jones and Malcolm Hill. Jemison, who was once reportedly eyed for a two-way with Phoenix, has been impressive in the preseason and a promotion to a two-way deal wouldn’t be surprising.

Orlando Magic

Open two-way spots: 1

Orlando has a talented crop of players signed to Exhibit 10 deals, including last year’s dunk contest champion Mac McClung. Joining McClung are Trevelin Queen, Brandon Williams and Miye Oni, all of whom have NBA experience.

The Magic traded for the G League rights to McClung and Williams earlier this offseason, which could indicate they don’t plan to convert either given that they have secured their potential G League services However, I expect both to have a chance to make the roster.

Phoenix Suns

Open two-way spots: 1

The Suns don’t have any players currently signed to training camp deals, so it’s hard to predict what they’ll do with these slots. Historically, Phoenix has used their two-way spots to sign players who are older and/or have NBA experience. Ish Wainright and Duane Washington are two such examples and they have Udoka Azubuike and Saben Lee already on board who both fit that bill.

Given that Phoenix is the only team without a G League affiliate for the upcoming season, it’d track that whoever they sign to fill that spot, if any player, would also fulfill that criteria.

San Antonio Spurs

Open two-way spots: 1

Charles Bediako is the only player the Spurs have signed to an Exhibit 10 deal as of Friday afternoon, so he could be a logical option to fill San Antonio’s last two-way contract. Bediako was ESPN’s fifth-best ranked undrafted free agent after the 2023 draft and eight of the top 10 signed two-way deals following the draft (Miles was later waived).

Washington Wizards

Open two-way spots: 1

The Wizards are in the process of cycling through Exhibit 10 players, so I’m not 100% convinced they move either Jules Bernard or Michael Foster Jr., their two current Exhibit 10 signees, to two-way slots. Bernard isn’t a bad bet though — he averaged 15.3 points for Washington’s affiliate Capital City Go-Go last season.

It’s also important to note that every player currently signed to a two-way deal isn’t necessarily a lock to make their team. With a modest contract guarantee, teams often swap out two-way players either before the season or during the course of the year. For example, Miles was waived earlier this week by the Mavericks despite holding a two-way deal.

Potential situations to monitor include Jay Scrubb of the Celtics, who is on a one-year two-way deal but is out for the season with a torn ACL; and Dru Smith of the Heat, whom Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel identified as a possible odd man out, though head coach Erik Spoelstra has spoken highly of him.

Pelicans Sign Malcolm Hill, Four Others

9:11am: The Pelicans announced the signings of Hill, Jones, Jemison and Robbins, along with Nolley.

New Orleans also confirmed the signing of Kaiser Gates to a two-way contract, which became official earlier in the week. The Pelicans’ offseason roster now stands at 21.

8:18am: The Pelicans have officially signed Malcolm Hill, Tevian Jones, Trey Jemison and Liam Robbins, according to RealGM’s transaction log. We previously wrote that New Orleans had agreed to sign Jones, Jemison and Robbins, but the Hill signing hadn’t been covered.

Hill, 27, has 24 games of NBA experience across stints with the Hawks and Bulls holding averages of 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. Most recently, Hill spent time with Chicago on a two-way contract, but was waived in February.

A product of Illinois, Hill has received more extensive playing time in the G League. In 32 regular season and Showcase Cup appearances last season with the Windy City Bulls (Chicago’s affiliate) and Birmingham Squadron (New Orleans’ affiliate), Hill averaged 15.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

It was reported in August that Jemison would be receiving an Exhibit 10 contract, and it’s likely safe to assume that’s the type of deal Hill, Jones and Robbins received from the Pelicans as well. If that’s indeed the case, all four players would be eligible for a bonus of up to $75K if they are waived by the Pelicans before the season begins and spend at least 60 days with Birmingham.

The signings of all four players brings New Orleans to 20 players under contract, one short of the offseason maximum. New Orleans has 14 players on standard contracts and two players signed to two-way deals. However, New Orleans is a bit over the tax and isn’t likely looking to keep a 15th standard player on the opening night roster in case they can duck under the tax. That means filling out the final open two-way spot is likely their primary goal, and one of these players could fill that spot.

It’s important to note that Landers Nolley was also reported to be joining New Orleans, but that deal has yet to be made official. It’s possible Nolley will fill the 21st and final spot on the team’s offseason roster.

Trey Jemison Agrees To Exhibit 10 Contract With Pelicans

Former UAB center Trey Jemison has agreed to an Exhibit 10 contract with the Pelicans, according to Jon Chepkevich of (Twitter link).

Jemison, a 6’11” center, played in Las Vegas Summer League with the Suns, averaging 8.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23.1 minutes across five games.

There was some speculation that Jemison would end up with Phoenix on a two-way deal. Jemison agreeing to an Exhibit 10 with the Pelicans suggests Phoenix wasn’t ready to hand out such an offer at this time. However, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of him ending up with the Suns at some point in the future.

Jemison joins a group of three other players who reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 deals with the Pelicans: Landers Nolley II, Liam Robbins and Tevian Jones. None of these deals have been made official yet, so it’s possible one or more of them fall through. The Pelicans have a pair of open two-way contract spots, with one occupied by Dereon Seabron. For what it’s worth, the Suns have just one open two-way contract spot, with two spots being occupied by Udoka Azubuike and Saben Lee.

Even if he doesn’t make the Pelicans’ roster, Jemison could earn some money via the maximum Exhibit 10 bonus. If he’s waived by the Pelicans and then spends at least 60 days with the Birmingham Squadron, their G League affiliate, he’ll earn a bonus worth up to $75K.

After spending his first two collegiate seasons with Clemson, Jemison transferred to UAB, where he became a full-time starter. Jemison spent three seasons in UAB and was invited to the annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an event for draft-hopeful college seniors. Jemison impressed there, leading to his summer league stint with the Suns.