The Memphis Grizzlies exercised the fourth-year contract options on guard O.J. Mayo and forward Darrell Arthur and the third-year option on center Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. All three players are now guaranteed through the 2011-12 season.
Mayo, the third overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, holds career averages of 17.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 38.0 minutes in 165 games (all starts). The 6-4, 210-pound guard posted 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 37.9 minutes last season, and was the only Grizzlies player to start and play in every game. The 22-year-old, who has yet to miss a game in his NBA career, entered the 2010-11 season with more minutes logged (6,234) than any other NBA player in the last two seasons aside from Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala.
Arthur, who missed most of his sophomore season due to right pectoralis surgery, bounced back this preseason to average 11.1 points (4th on the team) and 6.3 rebounds (2nd) in 24.9 minutes in eight games. The 6-9, 235-pound forward, who stepped into the starting lineup last night and scored a career-high 19 points in the Grizzlies’ regular season opener vs. Atlanta, has posted 5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 17.9 minutes in 109 games (66 starts) with the Grizzlies, who acquired his draft rights (27th overall) during the 2008 NBA Draft. A key member of the 2008 NCAA Champion Kansas Jayhawks, the 22-year-old recorded 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14.3 minutes in 32 games last season.
Thabeet, the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, ranked second among rookies in blocks (1.31) while averaging 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 13.0 minutes in 68 games (13 starts) last season. The 7-3, 267-pound center led all NBA players (min. 60 games) in blocks per 48 minutes (4.84). The 23-year-old, who was named the 2009 Co-Big East Player of the Year (along with current San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair) in his third and final season at Connecticut, is the first Tanzanian-born player to play in the NBA.
The Grizzlies (0-1) will look to bounce back from last night’s opening night defeat, as they travel to Dallas to play the Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night at the American Airlines Center. The game will be televised locally on SportSouth HD.