Jarell Martin

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Grizzles save cash with trade of forward Jarell Martin to Orlando

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Jarell Martin averaged nearly 23 minutes a night and scored 7.7 points per game for the Grizzlies last season, having pressed into more service than Memphis had hoped due to injury. Martin does most of his scoring at the rim, but he can step out and hit a three if needed (he only took 1.3 a game but he shot a respectable 34.7 percent).

Martin is also owed $2.4 million next season and the Grizzlies are trying to get under the salary cap, so Martin has been traded to Orlando in a deal broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade forward Jarell Martin and cash to the Orlando Magic for center Dakari Johnson, league sources told ESPN.

The deal includes the Magic sending Memphis the draft rights to Tyler Harvey, a 2015 second-round pick, a league source said. The Grizzlies will save on salary and luxury tax with the deal, dropping them $473,000 below the luxury tax.

For Memphis, this was about saving money.

For Orlando, they get some cash, and in Johnson a center who has spent the first three years of his career in the G-League but got up for 31 games with the Thunder last season. Johnson is at best their third center now behind Marc Gasol and Ivan Raab.

For Martin, this trade sucks. He spent most of last season playing the four and getting run, but the Magic have just-resigned Aaron Gordon and Summer League standout Jonathan Isaac to eat up most of the minutes there (plus Khem Birch on the bench). Martin can play a little small-ball five, but again the Magic are stacked at that spot with Nikola Vucevic, Mohamed Bamba, and Timofey Mozgov. Martin is going to have a hard time seeing the court in Orlando, he’s going to see his minutes go down.

Grizzlies healthy, excited for training camp with new coach

Marc Gasol
Associated Press
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Marc Gasol‘s surgically repaired right foot is healthy, and the Memphis Grizzlies center insists he’s back – perhaps better than ever.

Point guard Mike Conley is healthy too, his aching Achilles a distant memory. Jarell Martin‘s own left foot is as healthy as it’s been in a long time.

Chandler Parsons, the Grizzlies’ big free agent signee this summer , is the only person still recovering from his own knee surgery as the Grizzlies held media day Monday. It’s a welcome change for a franchise that set a dubious NBA mark last season playing 28 different players due to injuries that ravaged the roster, giving new coach David Fizdale a healthy roster for the start of training camp Tuesday.

The Grizzlies still reached the playoffs only to be swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

“Last year, man it was tough with all the injuries, especially the playoffs not having a full-strength team, so it was very tough,” forward Zach Randolph said Monday. “Now we all healthy, and now we looking at the big picture and that’s getting a championship and getting a ring.”

Losing Gasol was the biggest hit. Memphis was fifth in the Western Conference on Feb. 8 when Gasol last played and slipped to the No. 7 seed as the injuries mounted. He had surgery to repair a non-displaced fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot Feb. 20, starting a long rehabilitation process to return him to the court.

Recovery kept Gasol from playing for Spain during the Olympics, though the center wanted to play. He followed all the doctors’ orders and stuck with his rehabilitation. Gasol said he’s never felt any discomfort in his foot, which makes him confident the repair worked. He’s now ready to help lead the Grizzlies back to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2013 and even further to a place Memphis has never been: the NBA Finals.

“I’m confident that I have the capability of not just being the same player, but better,” Gasol said. “Better player, more productive, more consistent. Hopefully a better rebounder. … It’s going to be a challenge for me, but I’m up for it. I’m up for any challenge. I love challenges, and this year’s going to be another one.”

Guard Tony Allen said Gasol looks like he’s added to his game, noting the man nicknamed Big Spain knocked down six straight 3s in a pickup game recently.

Being healthy isn’t the only difference for Memphis from the end of last season. The Grizzlies start training camp Tuesday with a new coach in Fizdale , a long-time Miami Heat assistant who Memphis hired in late May after firing Dave Joerger who was then hired by Sacramento.

The Grizzlies also announced Monday they hired a new medical director in Allen Gruver, promoted Jim Scholler to head athletic trainer and added Eric Oetter as director of performance. Conley said the Grizzlies have bolstered the staff to help players, even adding massage therapists to help with recovery.

Fizdale also suggested to the Grizzlies that they show up a couple weeks early and play together to start building chemistry and conditioning. Fizdale said he couldn’t make them do it, and he liked how they listened. Managing Gasol’s minutes will be a big focus for Fizdale who plans to pull him early from some practices and keep him out of some games through the season.

“I’m definitely going to preserve him,” Fizdale said. “I don’t want to kill him throughout the year and don’t have him for the playoffs so it’ll be very mindful of how I attack him coming back from an injury.”

Follow Teresa M. Walker at http://www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Spurs take 3-0 series lead, beating shorthanded Grizzlies 96-87

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 96-87 on Friday night to take a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.

The Spurs are a win away from their ninth postseason series sweep and third against Memphis. They finished the game on a 13-6 run in the final 3:41, and Leonard, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, scored 13 points in the quarter as he shot 11 of 22 for the game and 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Green and Manu Ginobili each added 11 points for San Antonio.

Zach Randolph led Memphis with 20 points and 11 rebounds on 6-of-21 shooting. Matt Barnes added 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Vince Carter had 11 and JaMychal Green was 5 of 5 for 10 points.

Game 4 is Sunday.

Data curated by PointAfter

With Jarell Martin out with an injured left foot, Memphis had only 10 players available, and the 6-foot-7 Barnes jumped the opening tipoff at center. A fan summed up the Grizzlies’ season by holding up a towel with the slogan: “So proud of my team … All 28 of you” in honor of the NBA-record number of players Memphis used this season.

The Spurs so dominated the first two games in San Antonio that Memphis led only once, by a point and for 25 seconds. This time, the teams swapped the lead eight times with seven ties. Memphis not only took its second lead of this series, the Grizzlies also won consecutive quarters, outscoring San Antonio 25-18 in the second to trail only 44-43 at halftime and 28-26 in the third.

Memphis coach Dave Joerger stuck with his starters much of the game, with Barnes leading the Grizzlies with more than 41 minutes and Randolph on the court more than 39. Leonard played a game-high 42 minutes, 23 seconds.

The Grizzlies led for more than 2 minutes in the third quarter, taking their biggest lead at 51-48 after a 3-pointer from Carter and a pair of free throws by Tony Allen. That set up a taut quarter where neither team led by more than three, and Memphis led 71-70 going into the fourth.

Boris Diaw scored as the shot clock was running down to put the Spurs ahead to stay with 7:47 left, starting the 7-0 run. Memphis last got within 83-81 on a tip-in by Barnes. Leonard hit a free throw off a defensive 3-second call on Allen with 3:41 to go, and the Spurs finished off the win forcing five turnovers in the quarter.

TIP-INS

Spurs: With this win, Duncan tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third in career playoff victories with 154. Duncan trails Robert Horry (155) and Derek Fisher (161). Duncan already tied Horry for second with 244 postseason appearances. Fisher also leads that category with 259 playoff games. … Kevin Martin did not play because of illness. … The Spurs had a 17-12 advantage in fast-break points.

Grizzlies: Memphis went 4 of 18 beyond the arc, outshot by Leonard individually and the Spurs, who went 12 of 26. … The Grizzlies outrebounded the Spurs 48-39 and outscored them 44-28 in the paint. … They also had an 18-1 edge in second-chance points, taking advantage of 15 offensive rebounds.

Grizzlies set record by using 28th (!) player this season

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
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With trades, waiver claims and in-season signings, the 76ers and Timberwolves each used 25 players last season.

That seemed extreme.

But this year’s Grizzlies put those marks to shame.

Memphis has used a whopping 28 (!) players this season, a single-season NBA record (hat tip: ESPN). Playing Bryce Cotton in a loss to the Magic yesterday broke a tie with the 1996-97 Mavericks.

The 2015-16 Grizzlies:

The 1948-49 Indianapolis Jets are the only other team to use 25 players in a season.

But the Grizzlies differ from those other teams, because they could reach the postseason. Memphis (41-36) is three games inside playoff position.

No team that has used more than 23 players in a season has ever made the playoffs.

That could cause complications for the Grizzlies, who have 20 players under contract thanks to multiple hardship waivers. The typical regular-season roster limit is 15.

Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal:

The Grizzlies are apparently exploring being able to carry injury exemptions into the playoffs. But barring that — and it seems unlikely — they’ve got a couple of decisions to make

I’m not as convinced Memphis’ hardship request for the playoffs will be denied. The NBA constitution does not specify separate hardship procedures for the regular season or playoffs, so it stands to reason the same rules apply for the postseason.

But, if not, the Grizzlies will have to start waiving players. They’re not dropping an injured Gasol or Conley just to keep a expendable player for the postseason.

This playoff run could get even more difficult.

Yet another Grizzlies injury: P.J. Hairston expected to miss a couple weeks

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The Grizzlies’ woes have hit absurd levels are somehow hitting even more absurd levels.

The latest player to go down is P.J. Hairston. At least Memphis will add its 18th (!) player.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN:

Let’s breakdown the Grizzlies into three groups:

Injured:

Signed after trade deadline:

Healthy regulars:

Of course, that last group is smallest.

Yet, Memphis is still fifth in the Western Conference – closer to fourth than sixth (though at least four games from either). The Grizzlies need these players on 10-day contracts actually to contribute. The team’s playoff position depends on it.