Earlier today, we passed along a report from the Memphis Commercial Appeal that likely starting forward JaMychal Green and the Grizzlies were nowhere near a deal. Looks like someone was trying to get some spin out in public to push the deal over the finish line (and it was almost certainly the team). The earlier reports of a deal being close turned out to be correct.
It worked. Green and the Grizzlies agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal on Wednesday, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Restricted free agent JaMychal Green is finalizing a two-year, $17 million-plus deal to return to the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources told The Vertical.
Green worked toward coming to terms on the fully guaranteed two-year deal Wednesday. By closing in on an agreement, Green and the Grizzlies will avoid an Oct. 1 deadline of the $2.8 million qualifying offer. Green will also position himself to return to free agency in the summer of 2019, when the market is expected to be less treacherous than 2018.
That last sentence touches on why this deal works for both sides. For Memphis, they get a young, solid starting power forward who can start next to Marc Gasol and provide some of the athleticism the Spaniard doesn’t have. David Fizdale started him in front of Zach Randolph for a reason. With this, Memphis doesn’t lock itself in long term, but in a couple of years they may be looking to rebuild.
For Green, he makes some money — he’s played on 10-day and minimum contracts so far, making $1.9 million through three seasons — but he doesn’t get tied down long term. If he had signed the qualifying offer, he would have struggled next July because next season the free agent market is again going to be tight, particularly for bigs, and there will be quality guys on the market ahead of him. He can bet on himself, but it’s a risk.