Tyrell Terry

Grizzlies Sign Three Draft Picks, Kenneth Lofton Jr.

The Grizzlies have signed first-round draft picks Jake LaRavia and David Roddy to multi-year contracts, the team tweets.

LaRavia, who played for Wake Forest last season, was acquired by Memphis with the No. 19 overall pick pursuant to a draft-night trade with the Timberwolves. His rookie scale contract, under the latest salary cap, could go four years and can be worth up to $14,763,367.

Roddy, who played for Colorado State last season, was acquired by the Grizzlies with the No. 23 overall pick after a trade with the 76ers. His rookie scale deal can go four years and be worth up to $12,985,886.

[RELATED: Rookie Scale Salaries For 2022 NBA First-Round Picks]

The Grizzlies also announced that wing Vince Williams Jr. and big man Kenneth Lofton Jr. have signed two-way contracts (Twitter link).

Williams Jr., the No. 47 overall pick of this year’s draft, was selected to the 2021/22 All-Atlantic 10 First Team during his senior year at VCU.

The Grizzlies’ decision to give Lofton a two-way deal was previously reported. He was named to the All-Conference USA First Team during his sophomore year at Louisiana Tech last season but went undrafted.

With Williams and Lofton on two-way deals, the Grizzlies have waived guard Tyrell Terry, who signed a two-year, two-year contract last season. Terry, drafted by Dallas in 2020, appeared in two games with Memphis in ’21/22.

The Grizzlies still have one unsigned draftee, No. 38 pick Kennedy Chandler. His deal will likely be completed once the July moratorium ends.

Southwest Notes: Bane, Tillie, Terry, Spurs, G. Green

As the 30th overall pick of the 2020 draft, Grizzlies second-year guard Desmond Bane is used to being overlooked, but he’ll always feel like he should’ve gone off the board earlier, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

I will never let it go,” Bane told The Athletic. “I feel like teams had their chance to get me and knew who I was. It wasn’t like I was one of those one-and-done guys. You had four years to do your research on me. All my background stuff checked out. That’s on them.”

Bane has proven to be an ideal fit with star Ja Morant, Vokunov adds. After putting up 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 68 games (17 starts) as a rookie, Bane has increased those numbers to 17.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists through 39 games this season. He also sports a stellar shooting line of .466/.416/.906 for the 26-14 Grizzlies, currently the No. 4 seed in the West.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Keith Smith of Spotrac provides contract details (via Twitter) for Killian Tillie and Tyrell Terry of the Grizzlies. Tillie was promoted to a standard deal from a two-way contract last week, with Terry taking his two-way spot. Smith relays that Tillie will receive a portion of the room exception for his two-year deal, which is fully guaranteed at $1,901,625 for both 2021/22 and 2022/23, while Terry signed a two-year, two-way contract.
  • Spurs forward Keita Bates-Diop leans on an ancient philosophy to adjust to life as a NBA journeyman, especially during a pandemic, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Bates-Diop, an avid reader, utilizes Stoicism to deal with the uncertainties of life. “I’ve tried to be even-keeled throughout it all, just trusting the work without getting too emotional, too high or too low,” Bates-Diop said. “It’s all about acceptance. Accepting the things that happen, the things you can and can’t control. That was a big thing for me, separating the two.
  • Spurs rookies Joshua Primo and Joe Wieskamp performed well in a blowout loss on Tuesday, but both players know they’re going to spend more time in the G League when the team returns to full strength, Orsborn writes in a separate article for the Express-News. Coach Gregg Popovich says Primo is very mature for his young age (he just turned 19 two weeks ago). “Joshua has an uncanny maturity about him, kind of a steady demeanor,” Popovich said. “He is not awed by the NBA or anything like that. He makes good decisions. He definitely knows how to play. It’s just a matter of getting stronger and aware that these are men and they are coming after your head, so to speak. He just has to get used to that physicality and all that sort of thing.”
  • 35-year-old veteran Gerald Green, who recently decided to unretire and take another shot at the NBA, will be playing for the Rockets‘ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Grizzlies Give Two-Year Deal To Tillie, Waive Merrill, Sign Terry To Two-Way

6:30pm: The moves are official, the Grizzlies announced (Twitter links).


6:10pm: Two-way player Killian Tillie will sign a standard contract with the Grizzlies, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The second-year big man will get a deal worth $4MM over two years.

Tillie signed a two-way contract after going undrafted out of Gonzaga in 2020, then inked another two-way deal in August. He’s averaging 3.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 22 games this season, but his playing time has increased recently with the Grizzlies short-handed due to health and safety protocols.

Memphis will open a roster spot by waiving injured guard Sam Merrill, Woj adds (Twitter link). Merrill will undergo a surgical procedure on his left ankle that will keep him out of action for three to four months, sources tell Wojnarowski.

A rookie with the Bucks last year, Merrill was acquired by the Grizzlies in an offseason trade. He only appeared in six games for Memphis, averaging 4.2 PPG in 9.7 minutes per night, and last played on November 18. The move will include a $1.5MM cap hit, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that the Grizzlies believe Merrill has potential and may consider bringing him back once he’s healed.

The open two-way slot will be filled by guard Tyrell Terry, who signed as a hardship player last week, adds Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Terry has made two brief appearances since coming to Memphis, playing a combined three minutes.

Grizzlies Sign Tyrell Terry, Shaq Buchanan Under Hardship Provision

DECEMBER 26: The signings are official, according to a team press release.


DECEMBER 25: The Grizzlies will sign guards Tyrell Terry and Shaq Buchanan to 10-day contracts via the hardship exception, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Terry, 21, was selected by the Mavericks with the 31st pick in the 2020 draft. He appeared in 11 games for Dallas last season, seeing just 5.1 minutes per night, and was waived in October before the new season began.

Buchanan, 24, went undrafted out of Murray State in 2019. He has signed training camp deal with Memphis the past three years, but has been released before the start of each season.

Since Dallas’ G League affiliate didn’t take part in the Orlando bubble last season, Terry was assigned to the Grizzlies’ NBAGL team, the Memphis Hustle, averaging 14.7 points in 13 games. Buchanan is in his third season with the Hustle and is averaging 18.7 PPG through 13 games.

The Grizzlies currently have Jarrett Culver and Ziaire Williams in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Mavericks Waive Tyrell Terry, Carlik Jones, Feron Hunt

The Mavericks announced in a press release that they have waived Tyrell Terry, Carlik Jones, and Feron Hunt.

Terry, the 31st overall pick of the 2020 draft, was on a guaranteed contract worth more than $3.3MM over the next two seasons, including a bit more than $1.5MM this season. If no team claims him off waivers, Dallas will be responsible for the full amount of the guaranteed money left on his deal.

Terry played just 11 games as a rookie last season, missing significant time due to personal reasons. He had been away from the team during preseason action as well, reportedly due to a family matter. He had a strong freshman season with Stanford in 2019/20, putting up 14.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.2 APG (32.6 MPG) in 31 games, with a shooting line of .441/.408/.891. Many analysts considered him one of the best shooters in the 2020 draft, but had reservations about his slender frame and defense.

Jones and Hunt were undrafted rookies on Exhibit 10 contracts, and could see time with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ G League squad, if they’re not picked up by other teams. If they stick with the Legends for at least 60 days, they could earn bonuses of up to $50K. Both players played all four preseason contests with the Mavericks.

The moves bring the Mavericks to a full 15-man roster, with both two-way contracts filled. Terry being waived likely means that both Moses Brown and Frank Ntilikina made the team.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Exum, Grizzlies, Terry

Pelicans star Zion Williamson continued his effort to quell speculation that he’s unhappy in New Orleans during an interview Friday with SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link). Williamson expressed his fondness for the city and indicated that he sees a long-term future with the team.

“I love it here,” he said. “Anybody that knows me … they know that I love New Orleans. This is the city for me.”

The comments echoed a statement that Williamson made on media day in the wake of reports that some family members are urging him to seek a more successful team in a larger market and that he might have a shaky relationship with head of basketball operations David Griffin. Williamson will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.

During the same interview, Williamson discussed improvements that he made to his game during the offseason, including an expanded use of floaters and midrange shots (hat tip to Oleh Kosel of TheBirdWrites.com). He also expressed a determination to reach the playoffs after missing them in his first two NBA seasons.

“It was a sickening feeling,” Williamson said. “We weren’t in the playoffs — and I’m watching the playoffs — I’m like, man, we can be there. Like I know we can be there this year. Man, something just took over me and I was like, yeah, it’s not happening again. It’s not happening no more. When I started training, everything, from every rep, everything just felt personal. Everything was like, nah, nothing this year is going to stop us from getting into the playoffs. Like, we’re going to do this. I’m going to make sure I do my part and more, to make sure my teammates see me working.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Rockets guard Dante Exum had an impressive showing in the Olympics and wants to carry it over to the NBA, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Injuries have hampered Exum’s career over the past six years and he played only six games last season, all with Cleveland before being traded in January. However, Exum is only 26 and is determined to show the league what he can do. “I feel great,” he said. “I feel probably the best I felt since I’ve gotten into the league. I feel strong, healthy, ready to take on 82 games.”
  • The Grizzlies have made moves over the past two offseasons to upgrade at the wing, but Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian contends the position is already in good hands with Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson.
  • Mavericks guard Tyrell Terry is away from the team temporarily to attend to a family matter, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. There’s not a set time for Terry to return.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Rockets, Spurs, Terry, Grizzlies

People around the NBA believe there’s a good chance the Pelicans will move the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft in a deal that would bring back veteran help, says Zach Harper of The Athletic.

New Orleans already has a young roster and is expected to shop veterans like Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams this offseason in order to create more cap flexibility. Moving Bledsoe and/or Adams would make the roster even younger, perhaps making the Pelicans even less inclined to add another rookie to the mix.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Within his latest mock draft, Harper also says there’s a belief the Rockets have been “fixated” on Cade Cunningham, but are likely unwilling to pay Detroit what it would take to move up to No. 1. Additionally, sources tell Harper that people around the league believe Spurs guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White could be “gettable” in trades.
  • Mavericks guard Tyrell Terry was away from the team for nearly two months during his rookie season for personal reasons. Asked this week about that situation, Terry declined to offer any details, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes. “I had something to deal with personally that I needed to take care of in order for me to come back and be the best version of myself,” Terry said. “The Mavericks were very helpful and supportive in that time.”
  • The Grizzlies could have between $20-25MM in cap room this offseason. With that in mind, Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal considers which veteran free agents might make sense as targets for the team.

Mavs Rumors: Front Office, Voulgaris, Doncic, Carlisle

Haralabos Voulgaris, a well-known sports gambler who was hired by the Mavericks in 2018 as the team’s director of quantitative research and development, has gained an outsized influence in the front office, Tim Cato and Sam Amick write in a fascinating new report for The Athletic.

Multiple team and league sources tell Cato and Amick that Voulgaris has either initiated or approved virtually every one of Dallas’ roster moves within the last two years and has had input on Rick Carlisle‘s lineups and rotations. Although president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson continued to take the lead on major transactions, Voulgaris’ influence has been virtually on par with Nelson’s, The Athletic duo suggests.

“We had two general managers,” one team source told Cato and Amick.

Voulgaris’ relationship with team owner Mark Cuban paved the way for him to become a significant voice in the Mavs’ front office, and Cuban told The Athletic that he “really” likes what Voulgaris brings to the table, downplaying the idea that he has more influence than “any other data source on the team.” However, Voulgaris’ personality and decision-making has bothered other members of the front office during his tenure with the club.

“What did (he) sell to Mark to make him believe (he) can do this? Nobody knows,” one source with “intimate knowledge” of the situation told The Athletic. That same source added: “He doesn’t know how to talk to people.”

Earlier this year, Voulgaris appeared poised to gain further control in the front office, but now his contract is set to expire and his future with the Mavs is uncertain, according to Cato and Amick. One major factor the team must consider is the fact that superstar Luka Doncic doesn’t seem to be on particular good terms with Voulgaris — The Athletic’s report describes the pair as having a “strained relationship.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Cato and Amick point to the 2020 draft as a “particularly egregious example” of Voulgaris’ front office power, reporting that members of the scouting department – who were part of the team’s war room via Zoom – were surprised when they weren’t consulted for the Mavs’ selections of Josh Green and Tyrell Terry. The club’s scouts disagreed with Voulgaris on at least one of those players, per The Athletic.
  • Despite the fact that Doncic isn’t on great terms with some members of the Mavericks organization, including Voulgaris, the two-time All-Star has a “healthy relationship” with the organization at large, per Cato and Amick. Multiple sources tell The Athletic that Luka intends to sign a super-max contract extension with the Mavs once he’s eligible this offseason. Still, the franchise is starting to feel some urgency to upgrade the roster to make it a legit title contender, and to ensure Doncic will want to stick around beyond his second contract.
  • Some of Cato’s and Amick’s sources were surprised to see Cuban publicly endorse head coach Rick Carlisle so quickly – and so forcefully – after Dallas’ first-round exit. According to The Athletic’s report, there was a sense during the season that Carlisle’s future might be in the air beyond this season, and that some players were frustrated with his rotation decisions. However, Carlisle proved to be adaptable and made modifications to relieve that tension, presumably giving the Mavs the confidence to stick with him going forward.

Mavericks Notes: Terry, Redick, Porzingis, Cuban

Rookie guard Tyrell Terry is back with the Mavericks after missing the past eight weeks due to a personal matter, according to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Terry, the 31st pick in last year’s draft, has played just 11 games for Dallas. He was in the G League bubble with the Memphis Hustle in February, then left the Mavericks on March 17 to deal with personal issues.

Terry has been going through light workouts to regain his conditioning and isn’t in uniform for tonight’s game, Caplan adds. He hasn’t been in an NBA game since late January, and it’s uncertain if he’ll play at all before the season ends Sunday.

“It’s unlikely that he’ll dress (for) any of these three games because he’s been out for quite a while,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But I shouldn’t say that’s 100%, either. We’ll have to see what our numbers look like.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • After leaving Tuesday’s game with soreness in his right heel, Mavericks guard J.J. Redick won’t play any more during the regular season, tweets Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “He’s getting his right heel evaluated and then we’ll see where we are,” Carlisle said.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is playing tonight for just the second time since April 22, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Porzingis, who has been dealing with soreness in his right knee, is on a minutes restriction, but Carlisle refused to specify what the limit is (Twitter link). Carlisle said Porzingis “understands it’s about helping the team win games but also getting him back” on the court and preparing for the postseason. He added that the team has determined its best lineups are with Porzingis at power forward, rather than center (Twitter link).
  • In an interview with Marca, a Spanish sports publication, Porzingis denied having any disputes with Luka Doncic (translation from Alessandro Maggi of Sportando). “I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them,” Porzingis said. “I don’t know what (team owner Mark) Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team.” In a recent radio interview, Cuban suggested there had been “dust-ups” between the two stars, relays Sam Quinn of CBS Sports.

Southwest Notes: Olynyk, Terry, Hayes, Grizzlies

Since Kelly Olynyk arrived in Houston, the Rockets have won just four of 26 games, but the veteran big man has played some of the best basketball of his career during that stretch, averaging 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds on .561/.382/.850 shooting in 24 games (31.7 MPG). That hasn’t been lost on him, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details.

“I’ve had a good opportunity here to play my game,” Olynyk said. “I’ve come in to help these young guys. Their style of offense is great for me. … It definitely factors in (to be) somewhere you can be yourself, play basketball the way you’ve always played. It’s been great here. I’ve loved it, the opportunities, the players, the coaches. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s obviously shown on the court.”

Olynyk will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and Rockets head coach Stephen Silas believes the 30-year-old would be a fit in Houston going forward, per Feigen. While Olynyk sounds interested in that possibility, he acknowledged that he’ll have to consider a number of factors once he reaches the open market.

“Obviously, money is a factor at some point,” Olynyk said. “But fit, how you’re fitting, style of play. Obviously, you want to win, but you also want to help somebody win. You don’t want to go and kind of get lost in a shuffle. You want to go and contribute and help a team grow and win and do something special. … Then, obviously, you’ve got to look at one year versus two or three or four. There’s a bunch of factors that weigh into it. You try to make the best decision that you can.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks rookie guard Tyrell Terry, who has been out since the All-Star break for personal reasons, said on Instagram this week that he plans to be “back and better than before,” as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets. While it’s not clear when Terry will be available again, his Instagram post included the message, “I will see y’all soon!”
  • Second-year Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes has made some positive strides this season, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com, who says Hayes’ next step for continued growth is to establish more consistency. The big man will make $5.35MM in 2021/22 and New Orleans will have to decide later this year whether to pick up his $6.8MM option for 2022/23.
  • Given how well the Grizzlies have performed without some key players for long stretches of the season, anything less than a playoff spot should be considered a disappointment at this point, says Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The way the Grizzlies close the season will also determine how they move forward in the offseason, Giannotto opines.