marreese speights

The Memphis Grizzlies extended qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur, Grizzlies General Manger and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Speights (6-10, 255) set career highs in scoring (8.8 points), rebounding (6.2) and minutes (22.4) in 60 games (54 starts) last season after being acquired by Memphis from the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 4, 2012 in a three-team trade that also included the New Orleans Hornets.  The 24-year-old averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.3 minutes during the Grizzlies’ seven-game first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

The St. Petersburg, Fla. native holds NBA career averages of 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes in 265 games (58 starts) over four seasons with the Grizzlies and 76ers.  Philadelphia selected Speights with the No. 16 overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Arthur (6-9, 235) posted career bests in scoring (9.1 points), blocks (0.79), field goal percentage (.497), free throw percentage (.813) and minutes (20.1) in 80 games (nine starts) during the 2010-11 season before a torn right Achilles sustained on Dec. 18, 2011 caused the 24-year-old to miss the entire 2011-12 season.

The Dallas native owns NBA career averages of 6.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.8 minutes in 188 games (74 starts) with the Grizzlies.  After leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA National Championship, Arthur was selected by New Orleans with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and traded to Memphis on draft night.

Extending a qualifying offer prior to the June 30 deadline gives Memphis the ability to match any offer sheet a player signs with another team during the offseason.