Archive for the ‘ Memphis Grizzlies Blog ’ Category

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles on former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, who wants to run a team again.

Lionel Hollins wants another NBA head coaching job

As sabbaticals go, the one Lionel Hollins has been on the last few months has been pretty nice, but the former Memphis Grizzlies coach said in an extended interview with ESPN.com that he is ready to get back to work.

Since not being retained by the Grizzlies’ new ownership group, Hollins has been playing golf, attending charity events, doing a little broadcasting for NBA TV and watching his son Austin Hollins a senior guard for Minnesota, play college basketball. This week, he was in Hawaii to watch the Gophers in the Maui Invitational.

Nice as the time off has been, however, Hollins is ready to return to the NBA.

“I believe I’ve established myself as a head coach and I’d like another opportunity to show that [my success] wasn’t a fluke,” Hollins said. “I feel like I’ve proven I can take a young team and develop it, then sustain what I’ve done by what I did in the last five years in Memphis.”

Hollins was let go by the Grizzlies despite winning a franchise-record 56 games and leading Memphis to its first Western Conference Finals appearance last season.

Marc Gasol injured with MCL sprain in his left knee

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that center Marc Gasol underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which revealed a MCL sprain in his left knee. He will be out indefinitely and no surgery will be required.

Gasol (7-1, 265), who sustained the injury in the second quarter last night against San Antonio, was evaluated at the Campbell Clinic today by team physician Dr. Fred Azar.

The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol ranked second on the Grizzlies in scoring, rebounding and assists and led the team in blocks entering the game against the Spurs. The 2012 All-Star and 2012-13 Second Team All-NBA center has missed just four games dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, playing and starting in 239 of a possible 243 regular season contests.

Tony Allen

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen has been suspended one game without pay for kicking Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers in the face, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

That’s right, folks. Just in case you were wondering, kicking a player in the face is not considered a valid defensive basketball play. And now you know!

But seriously: Allen jumped high in the air and while it’s not like he wound up and unleashed a blatant, premeditated roundhouse kick, it was still a wild, out-of-control move, and the end result was what amounted to a boot to CP3’s head.

The incident, for which Allen was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter of the Grizzlies’ 106-102 win over the Clippers on Monday, Nov. 18, at Staples Center.

Allen will serve his suspension on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when the Grizzlies play the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

To view the play, click on this link.

If there’s one reason for a professional basketball player to leave right in the middle of a game, this is it. The Associated Press reports:

zach randolph

Memphis forward Zach Randolph left the Grizzlies’ game Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans when his fiancee, Faune, went into labor.

Randolph played 8 minutes of the first quarter and hit his only shot before leaving the arena in the second quarter.

Grizzlies sign Quincy Pondexter to contract extension

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard/forward Quincy Pondexter to a contract extension, the team announced today. According to CSNNW, the deal is for four years, $14 million.

Pondexter (6-6, 225) led the Grizzlies in three-point field goal percentage (career-high .395) in 59 games (one start) last season and also averaged career highs with 6.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 21.1 minutes. He made 60 three-pointers last season after recording a total of 40 threes over his first two NBA seasons.

Pondexter further increased his production during the 2013 NBA Playoffs, averaging 8.9 points and 2.5 rebounds on .489 shooting (.453 3FG shooting) in 23.8 minutes in 15 postseason games. The 25-year-old posted 15.3 points and 3.3 rebounds on .537 shooting (.480 3FG shooting) in 32.0 minutes during the 2013 Western Conference Finals, leading the Grizzlies in scoring twice during the series.

After a 13-point performance in the 2013-14 season opener on Oct. 30 at San Antonio, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists on .431 shooting (.366 3FG shooting) in 15.8 minutes in 190 games (15 starts) for Memphis and New Orleans.

Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies waived Andre Barrett, Melvin Ely, Tony Gaffney and Willie Reed, the team announced today.

Barrett (5-10, 172) logged two minutes in his lone preseason appearance on Oct. 20 at Atlanta. The 31-year-old, who signed with Memphis on Oct. 10, holds career averages of 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes in 67 games (one start) in four seasons for the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.

Ely (6-10, 260) averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 6.2 minutes in three preseason games after signing with the Grizzlies on Sept. 29. The 35-year-old holds career averages of 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists on .460 shooting in 16.0 minutes in 373 games (55 starts) over eight seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Bobcats, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Denver Nuggets.

Gaffney (6-8, 213) registered 2.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.7 minutes in seven preseason games after signing with Memphis on Sept. 29. The 28-year-old has played professionally in Israel (2009-10), Turkey (2010-11), the NBA D-League’s Utah Flash (2010-11), Germany (2011-12) and Spain (2012-13).

Reed (6-10, 220) posted 2.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 6.4 minutes in five preseason games after signing with Memphis on April 17. The 23-year-old averaged 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.77 blocks on .557 shooting in 29.3 minutes in 48 games (30 starts) for the NBA D-League’s Springfield Armor last season before signing with the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 13 players.

Tayshaun Prince has always been about as skinny as the free throw line, but now he’s reportedly so thin, it’ll be hard to even see him on the court. Here’s the Detroit Free Press:

tayshaun prince

Former Detroit Pistons star Tayshaun Prince, who doesn’t have much extra weight to shed, as we all know, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal this week that he has lost 12 to 15 pounds because of a debilitating stomach ailment.

Prince has missed the entire preseason with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 6-foot-9 sharpshooter, whose listed weight on the Grizzlies’ official roster is 215 pounds, told the Commercial Appeal he’s feeling stale and weak and that he experienced abdominal pains that kept him from eating most of the past week.

Jon Leuer hoping to have impact on Grizzlies

The former University of Wisconsin star is learning from all-star power forward Zach Randolph and reigning NBA defensive player of the year Marc Gasol.

And the Bucks’ second-round pick in 2011 believes he can make an impact with a Memphis team expected to be in the hunt again after reaching the Western Conference finals last season.

“I’m really happy with where I’m at,” Leuer said while seated at his locker before the Grizzlies met the Bucks in a preseason game Tuesday night. “I’m just trying to work hard and get better every day and work my way into the rotation.

“There are a lot of good guys to learn from, especially Zach and Marc. I’m trying to learn from them as much as I can, two all-star bigs.”

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Memphis Grizzlies sign guard Andre Barrett

The Memphis Grizzlies today signed free agent point guard Andre Barrett.

NBA preseason is ongoing, and that means many signings these days are merely “training camp deals,” and not guaranteed for the regular season. This may be the case with Barrett.

Barrett (5-10, 172) joins the Grizzlies after spending last season with the Maine Red Claws and Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA Development League. He averaged 7.5 points and 7.7 assists in 17 games for Maine and recorded 11.3 points and 7.9 assists in 16 appearances for Sioux Falls.

Undrafted in the 2004 NBA Draft, the 31-year-old holds NBA career averages of 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes in 67 games (one start) in four seasons for the Houston Rockets (2004-05), Orlando Magic (2004-05), Phoenix Suns (2005-06), Toronto Raptors (2005-06), Chicago Bulls (2006-07) and Los Angeles Clippers (2007-08). The Bronx native also has had D-League stints with the Florida Flame (2005-06), Bakersfield Jam (2007-08), Austin Toros (2007-08) and Idaho Stampede (2009-10) and has played overseas for Regal FC Barcelona in Spain (2008-09) and Chorale de Roanne Basket in France (2011-12).

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 17 players.

The Memphis Grizzlies waived Josh Akognon and Derrick Byars, the team announced today.

Akognon (5-11, 185) averaged 1.7 points in 3.0 minutes in three games for the Dallas Mavericks and also played for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters in China last season. The 27-year-old Cal State Fullerton product was claimed off waivers by Memphis on July 23 after he was waived by Dallas on July 21.

Byars (6-7, 220) competed for ALBA Berlin in Germany and Caciques de Humacao in Puerto Rico last season. Memphis signed the 29-year-old Vanderbilt product as a free agent on Sept. 29.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 16 players.

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera will play Tony Allen 1-on-1, for charity

Memphis Grizzlies Chairman and Controlling Owner Robert Pera will play Grizzlies guard Tony Allen in an exhibition game of one-on-one in the Coventry Health Care Practice Facility at FedExForum on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph will officiate.

Pera and Allen agreed to the exhibition contest and to donate $100,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® to tip-off the 2013-14 season. The event will be streamed live at grizzlies.com and broadcast live on ESPN Radio 92.9 FM.

This event is closed to the public.

memphis grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced that the organization has hired Elston Turner, Duane Ticknor and Shawn Respert as assistant coaches to join returning assistant coach Bob Thornton on Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger’s staff.

Additionally, the Grizzlies have hired Chattin Hill as athletic performance coach, promoted Jason March to advance scout, promoted Steve Jones to video coordinator/player development and hired Mark Sanford as assistant video coordinator/player development.

Known in league circles for coaching defense on offensively-minded ball clubs, Turner joins the Grizzlies as the lead assistant with 17 seasons of experience as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns (2011-13), Houston Rockets (2007-11), Sacramento Kings (2000-06) and Portland Trail Blazers (1996-00).

Turner served as the lead assistant for Phoenix after spending six seasons in the same role in Houston under current Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman. He also worked under Adelman in Sacramento, where he was a part of two Western Conference All-Star coaching staffs (2001, 2003), and Portland.

Turner’s career coaching responsibilities have included handling the team’s game plan, individual skill work with players and advance scouting. He also served as the Rockets’ summer league head coach. His coaching career began in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) as an assistant coach for the Quad City Thunder and as a player/coach for the Chicago Rockers.

Drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round (43rd overall) of the 1981 NBA Draft, Turner played eight seasons in the NBA with the Mavericks (1981-84), Denver Nuggets (1984-86, 1988-89) and Chicago Bulls (1986-88) and spent five seasons in the CBA. He played three more years in Spain, Italy and Greece following his NBA career.

The Knoxville, Tenn. native played four seasons at Ole Miss, where as a senior he teamed with current Grizzlies TV analyst Sean Tuohy to lead the Rebels to the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1981. The university honored Turner’s collegiate accomplishments by inducting him into the Ole Miss M-Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

A veteran on the minor league coaching circuit, Ticknor will rejoin Joerger on the sidelines after the latter worked as the former’s assistant for one season (1999-00) with the International Basketball Association’s (IBA) Dakota Wizards.

Ticknor spent last season as head coach of the NBA Development League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants, leading the club to a 27-23 record (.540) and an appearance in the 2013 D-League Playoffs.

Before his stint in Fort Wayne, Ticknor served two seasons as an assistant coach with the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce (2009-11), two more as head coach of the Dakota Wizards (2007-09) and one season in Korea (2011-12). He also spent time in the CBA as head coach of the Gary Steelheads (2002-05) and as an assistant for the Rapid City Thrillers (1989-92) and the IBA as head coach of the Black Hills Posse (1995-99), Dakota Wizards (1999-00) and Siouxland Bombers (2000-01).

A four-time IBA Coach of the Year (1996-98, 2000), the Vermillion, S.D. native led his teams to the IBA Finals three times and won the 1997 IBA Championship while helming Black Hills.

Thornton returns for a third season on the Grizzlies sidelines after joining the organization prior to the 2011-12 season. Before joining the Grizzlies, Thornton spent the previous four seasons (2007-11) as the advance scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Los Angeles native has experience as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls (2002-04) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2005-07) and served as the head coach for the CBA’s Quad City Thunder (2000-01) and the D-League’s Huntsville Flight (2001-02).

Drafted by the New York Knicks in the fourth round (87th overall) of the 1984 NBA Draft, Thornton played professionally for 11 years, including eight NBA seasons with the Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Washington Bullets. He also played in Spain, Italy and the CBA.

Respert comes to Memphis after serving the previous two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves and three seasons (2008-11) as director of player development for the Houston Rockets. He also served two years (2007-08) as director of player development in the D-League offices in New York and two-and-a-half years (2005-07) as director of basketball operations at Rice University.

Named the 1995 NCAA Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as a senior at Michigan State, Respert was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1995 NBA Draft. After his draft rights were traded to Milwaukee, Respert played four NBA seasons (1995-99) with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns before finishing his professional career playing in Italy, Greece and Poland.

The Detroit native was inducted into the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 20, 2012.

Hill joins the Grizzlies as athletic performance coach after recently serving six seasons as the strength and conditioning coach for the Atlanta Hawks. He is responsible for the development and implementation of strength, conditioning and nutritional programs for the Grizzlies roster. The Washington State native also served one season as the assistant strength coach for the Seattle SuperSonics, two years as the head strength coach of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and worked in a similar capacity at the University of Washington, where he focused his efforts primarily on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Entering his seventh season with the organization, March now will serve as advance scout after spending last season as director of basketball information and technologies. Before joining the Grizzlies, he spent two seasons as the assistant video coordinator for the Phoenix Suns, where he was part of the team that advanced to the 2006 Western Conference Finals. A graduate of Florida State University, the Frostproof, Fla. native also spent two seasons as the video coordinator for the Phoenix Mercury, who won the 2007 WNBA championship.

Entering his third season with the club, Jones will take over the role of video coordinator/player development after working two seasons under March as basketball information and technologies associate. Jones, who played collegiately for UNLV and Arizona State University, will prepare scouting videos and game plans for upcoming opponents for the coaching staff. The Portland, Ore. native also will assemble a library of game action clips in preparation of the annual NBA Draft.

Sanford enters his first season with the Grizzlies as assistant video coordinator/player development after spending four years at Northwood University, where he served two years as an assistant to the men’s basketball team and his final two years as head coach of the women’s team. Drafted by the Heat in the second round (31st overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft, Sanford enjoyed an 11-year professional career that included NBA stints with Miami, Sacramento and New Jersey, appearances in the CBA and ABA, and international stints in Belgium, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Japan, Israel, Venezuela, Spain, the Philippines, Australia, Lebanon, South Korea and Chile. The Dallas native earned First Team All-Pac 10 honors twice at the University of Washington and declared for the NBA Draft following his junior season.

Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo

Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo
Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo

The Memphis Grizzlies have waived center Fab Melo, the team announced today. Melo was originally acquired on August 14, 2013 in exchange for forward Donté Greene.

Entering his second NBA season, Melo (7-0, 255) saw action in six games last season with the Celtics averaging 1.2 points in six minutes per contest. He appeared in 33 games for the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and a league-high 3.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game after being assigned to the Celtics affiliate on Nov. 14.

Drafted by Boston with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Melo decided to forgo his final two years at Syracuse University after being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in his sophomore season. In two seasons at Syracuse, he averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on .576 shooting in 17.3 minutes in 63 games (54 starts).

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have acquired point guard Tony Wroten (ROH-ten) from Memphis in exchange for future draft considerations.

The Sixers are in rebuilding mode and should be in for a rough season. Lots of bench guys on this roster have a chance to contribute a bit more than might normally be expected of them. Still, Wroten isn’t likely to get serious minutes.

Wroten (6-6, 210) appeared in 35 regular season games as a rookie for the Grizzlies last season and also saw action in six games during Memphis’ run to the Western Conference Finals. Additionally, Wroten was the fifth youngest player in the NBA last season.

The 20-year-old was assigned to the Reno Bighorns of NBA Development League and appeared in a total of 11 D-League games with three starts, averaging 17.0 points, almost four assists, three rebounds and one steal in nearly 27 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 30 points in the season finale vs. the Canton Charge on April 6.

Wroten was originally the 25th overall pick by Memphis in the 2012 NBA Draft following his freshman season at the University of Washington. In his only season with the Huskies, Wroten averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and became the first freshman in school history to earn First Team All-Conference honors. He was also named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after setting numerous freshman school marks, including most points (559), assists (130) and steals (66).

A native of Seattle, Wroten attended Garfield High School which also produced former NBA All-Star Brandon Roy. His father, Tony, played football at Washington and his mother, Shirley, ran track at Washington and Arizona State. Wroten’s aunt, Joyce Walker, was a two-time All-American at Louisiana State and played for the Harlem Globetrotters. His cousin, Nate Robinson, plays for the Denver Nuggets.

The trade is pending the completion and passing of a physical.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Nick Calathes, the team announced today.

Calathes (6-6, 213) was named the 2012-13 EuroCup MVP after recording 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists on .521 shooting in 17 games during the EuroCup competition last season.

The 24-year-old also posted 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists on .547 shooting in 14 games for Lokomotiv Kuban of the Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) and averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists on .555 shooting in 30 games in the VTB United League.

Calathes played his first three professional seasons in Greece for Panathinaikos Athens, helping guide the club to back-to-back Greek League Championships in 2010 and 2011 as well as a Greek League Finals appearance in 2012. Panathinaikos won the 2011 Euroleague Championship and advanced to the 2012 Euroleague Final Four.

Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (45th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Calathes’ draft rights were traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night for a 2010 second round draft pick. Memphis acquired the draft rights to Calathes from Dallas in exchange for lifting the protection on a 2016 second round pick already owed to the Mavericks (via Denver) on July 22, 2013.

A two-time Florida Mr. Basketball, the Winter Park, Fla. native played two seasons at the University of Florida, where he was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2008 and selected First Team All-SEC as a sophomore in 2009. He led the Gators in scoring and assists per game in each of his two collegiate seasons, setting the school single-season record for assists (231) as a sophomore. Despite playing only two seasons, Calathes ranks third in school history in assists (452).

Celtics trade Fab Melo to Grizzlies for Donte Greene

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired center Fab Melo and cash considerations from the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Donté Greene, the team announced today.

According to the Boston Globe, “Though Melo was a low-risk gamble at the No. 22 overall pick, he made little progress in his rookie season. The Brazilian played sparingly in six games, scoring 7 total points and proving to be little more than a long-term project at best.”

Entering his second NBA season, Melo (7-0, 255) saw action in six games last season with the Celtics averaging 1.2 points in six minutes per contest. He appeared in 33 games for the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and a league-high 3.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game after being assigned to the Celtics affiliate on Nov. 14. While with the Red Claws, he recorded a triple-double on Dec. 22 against Erie with 15 points, 16 rebounds and a D-League record 14 blocks. In Maine’s next game, he recorded 32 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks. Melo, a native of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, was named to the 2013 NBA D-League All-Rookie First Team and All-Defensive First Team.

Drafted by Boston with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Melo decided to forgo his final two years at Syracuse University after being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in his sophomore season. In two seasons at Syracuse, he averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on .576 shooting in 17.3 minutes in 63 games (54 starts).

Greene (6-11, 226) signed with Memphis on April 17, 2013, holding NBA career averages of 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 16.8 minutes in 253 games (82 starts) over four seasons (2008-12) with the Sacramento Kings, but did not see action in a game with the Grizzlies.

The 25-year-old had missed the majority of the 2012-13 regular season while recovering from a fractured ankle suffered during an offseason workout on Aug. 25, 2012. He played one game in Puerto Rico for Atleticos de San German of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) last year.

Grizzlies welcome back Mike Miller

Miller was introduced at a midday news conference at the FedExForum, where fans and backers joined in welcoming him back to town. Miller drew applause from backers as he walked out with new head coach Dave Joerger and a standing ovation after the event.

We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Mike Miller back to Memphis,” Levien said in a statement announcing the signing. “Mike is a special figure in our community both on and off the court. Mike is an elite 3-point shooter, as Grizzlies fans know firsthand, and we expect his shooting, play-making, hustle and leadership to be a key component in our team competing with the best in the NBA next season.”

Miller still holds eight franchise records with the Grizzlies, including 3-point shooting percentage and the most 3s made and attempted. He spent parts of six seasons with the Grizzlies from 2003 through 2008. He helped the Heat win the past two NBA titles, and has shot 41 percent from 3-point range in his 13 NBA seasons.

He will collect more than $12 million in salary from the Heat over the next two seasons.

Reported by Clay Bailey of the Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2013 second round draft selection Jamaal Franklin to a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

Franklin (6-5, 191) was selected by Memphis in the second round (41st overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft after leading San Diego State in scoring (17.0 points), rebounding (9.5), assists (3.3) and steals (1.61) last season as a junior. He was the only Division I player to pace his team in all four categories.

The 22-year-old was named the 2011-12 Mountain West Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring (17.4 points) as a sophomore, becoming the first sophomore to win the award since Andrew Bogut in 2005. Franklin helped guide the Aztecs to three consecutive Mountain West titles and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the first three NCAA Tournament victories in program history.

The Moreno Valley, Calif. native finished his collegiate career ranked in the top 20 in SDSU history in points (1,181, 17th), rebounds (605, 14th), three-point field goals (100, 13th), free-throw percentage (.783, 10th) and blocks (51, T-16th).

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have traded the draft rights to guard Nick Calathes to Memphis in exchange for a 2016 second round draft pick.

Calathes (6-6, 213) posted 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists on .547 shooting in 14 games for Lokomotiv Kuban of the Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) and averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists on .555 shooting in 30 games in the VTB United League. Calathes was named the 2012-13 EuroCup MVP after recording 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists on .521 shooting in 17 games during the EuroCup competition.

The 24-year-old played his first three professional seasons in Greece for Panathinaikos Athens, helping guide the club to back-to-back Greek League Championships in 2010 and 2011 as well as a Greek League Finals appearance in 2012.

Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (45th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Calathes’ draft rights were traded to Dallas on draft night for a 2010 second round draft pick.

A two-time Florida Mr. Basketball, the Winter Park, Fla. native played two seasons at the University of Florida, where he was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2008 and selected First Team All-SEC as a sophomore in 2009.

Memphis originally traded a protected 2016 second round draft pick to the Denver Nuggets for Steven Hunter and a 2010 first round draft pick on Aug. 7, 2009. Denver later sent the pick to Dallas as part of a trade for Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez on Dec. 13, 2011.

memphis grizzlies

A Grizzlies assistant coach for the past six seasons, he was promoted on draft day after his team couldn’t agree with head coach Lionel Hollins on a new contract. Hollins entrusted him with the defense the past two seasons, and the Grizzlies have become one of the league’s best defensive teams while winning a franchise-record 56 games last season under Hollins.

“Lionel is comfortable in his own skin,” Joerger said. “He does a great job being who he is, and that’s something I need to be also. These guys know me as an assistant coach and now I’m going to be a head coach in demeanor and everything, but I still have to be who I am. If I try to be something different, it’s not going to work.”

He is a hard-working career coach who washed jerseys and booked halftime acts when he was assistant coach/general manager in Bismarck and credits part of his success to coaches such as Karl and Saunders, both of whom welcome him to their training camps a decade or more ago.

Joerger spent several days watching Saunders during the Wolves’ 2003 training camp when Saunders taught his intricate offense to newcomers Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell on a team that reached the Western Conference finals that season.

“I love the way Flip coaches offense,” Joerger said.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Basketball blog