Tag: Jon Leuer

Michael Holyfield, Chris Singleton

Grizzlies, in need of third center, sign Michael Holyfield

Leave a comment

Grizzlies, despite their reputation as large and interior-oriented, had fewer centers last season than most teams.

Starter Marc Gasol is back. Brandan Wright is now the backup, replacing Kosta Koufos, who signed with the Kings.

But Memphis didn’t really have a third center. Jon Leuer, a slim power forward, nominally filled the role, and the Grizzlies traded him to the Suns.

Have they found a true third center?

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

If the Grizzlies keep Holyfield into the regular season, that one-year minimum contract will essentially become a standard contract.

Can he stick?

Memphis has 14 players with guaranteed contracts plus JaMychal Green ($150,000 guaranteed). Green’s guarantee gives him a leg up.

So does his ability. Holyfield faces a steep increase in competition from the Southland Conference. His size advantage is much less pronounced in the NBA, and he has yet to show the skills necessary to handle it.

But Memphis could use a third center for insurance. Gasol is on the wrong side of 30. Wright, though healthy last season, played just 58, 64, 49, 37, 39 and 38 games in his other six NBA seasons. Zach Randolph could handle the position if pressed, but that’s not ideal.

It makes sense for the Grizzlies to waive Holyfield and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, the Iowa Energy. It also makes sense for Memphis to find a third center, someone better than Holyfield. Until the latter happens, I wouldn’t consider the former a total lock.

One late draft trade: Memphis sends Jon Leuer to Phoenix in exchange for draft rights to Andrew Harrison

Jon Leuer
1 Comment

In one late draft night trade, the Phoenix Suns got a little bigger, and the Memphis Grizzlies added another point guard, potentially.

The trade sent big man Jon Leuer from Memphis to Phoenix in exchange for the draft rights to Andrew Harrison, who the Suns had taken with the No. 44 pick.

Leuer is a big who is supposed to be able to shoot from the outside and stretch the floor, but he struggled with his shot this past season and seemed tentative even when open. He averaged  4.5 points per game in a limited for Memphis last season, one that shrunk as the season wore on. He shot 46.9 percent from three two seasons ago maybe he can find that form again in Phoenix’s offense.

It’s a little tough to see where Harrison will get minutes in Memphis. Harrison is a big, strong point guard who knows how to use that size to bull his way to the rim, plus he can defend the one and the two. But there are questions about his handles and decision making — and the Grizzlies are loaded at the point with Mike Conley, Beno Udrih and Nick Calathes in the mix.

It was a little trade on a night that was supposed to be filled with big, exciting trades, but mostly fizzled out on that end. This kind of trade was sadly more the norm.

Wizards’ Kevin Seraphin fined $15K for flagrant foul against Grizzlies

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets

The Wizards were up big on a depleted Wizards team Thursday when Kevin Seraphin decided to hammer Jon Leuer on a fast break.

The officials ruled the play as a flagrant two foul at the time, which comes with it an automatic ejection.

A day later, the league has seen fit to further fine Seraphin for his actions.

From the official release:

Washington Wizards center Kevin Seraphin has been fined $15,000 for making excessive contact and pulling Memphis Grizzlies forward Jon Leuer off the rim and to the floor, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

That seems about right.

Even if there was no intent to injure (which is impossible to discern), it was a dangerous play nonetheless, and is worthy of punishment for that reason all by itself.

Wizards’ Kevin Seraphin ejected after delivering flagrant foul to Grizzlies’ Jon Leuer (VIDEO)

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets

Late in the third quarter of Thursday night’s contest between the Wizards and the Grizzlies, the score was predictably lopsided in Washington’s favor, after Memphis chose to rest four of its starters.

But even with a 21-point lead in place, Kevin Seraphin decided to hammer Jon Leuer on a fast break dunk attempt, which caused him to fall awkwardly to the floor.

It’s unclear whether this was a culmination of smaller incidents between the two players that may have occurred throughout, or if Seraphin just made an unnecessary play to attempt to stop the easy two points.

Either way, the referees saw fit to eject Seraphin for his actions.

Grizzlies snap Warriors’ 16-game winning streak

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies

The Warriors were off to a ridiculous 21-2 start to the season, but few expected that to continue on Tuesday night in Memphis.

The Grizzlies were 19-4 overall themselves, and possessed the league’s best home record coming into this one. And, with Golden State missing its defensive anchor in Andrew Bogut, the belief was that Memphis would have a relatively easy time ending the Warriors’ winning ways.

While it was more difficult than expected, Memphis came away with the 105-98 victory, one which snapped Golden State’s 16-game winning streak.

The Grizzlies took control of this one early in the second quarter, with a 20-0 run sparked by their bench. Vince Carter led the way with 11 in the period, while guys like Jon Leuer and Beno Udrih were efficient in running the Memphis offense to get easy looks at the basket.

This was far from a blowout, however, and the Warriors even had their chances down the stretch. After Memphis led by as many as 14 points in the fourth, the lead was just three with 38 seconds remaining. But Mike Conley came through in the clutch, hitting a running floater with 30 seconds left that effectively sealed it.

This was not a great night for the Warriors offensively, and while the Grizzlies are known for their defense, some of the miscues can easily be chalked up to the players needlessly pressing. Curry finished 9-of-25 from the field, and many of his shots seemed forced, without him bothering to look for teammates to get easier looks. Draymond Green can be capable offensively at times, but looked out of sorts while missing almost everything in a 2-of-11 effort of his own.

The good news for the Warriors is that help is on the way. Bogut is expected to return soon, and as long as he’s healthy come playoff time, the league’s best defense can remain confident that it will be able to put up performances similar to those we’ve seen to this point in the season. David Lee will be back at some point, too, and that will just add another dimension to the big man depth of this stellar Warriors offense.

But until then, losses on the road against some of the other top teams in the league should be somewhat expected. At this point in the season, Memphis certainly fits that description.