Jordan Adams

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Report: Timberwolves declining Adreian Payne’s fourth-year option

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A few players – Mitch McGary, Jordan Adams and R.J. Hunter – had their rookie-scale-contract team options declined as their teams waived them this offseason. Another player, P.J. Hairston, had his third-year option declined last fall.

But only one player that we know of so far from the 2013 and 2014 draft classes remains on a team but won’t finish his rookie-scale deal:

Timberwolves forward Adreian Payne, the No. 15 pick in 2014.

Minnesota will decline his $3,100,094 team option for 2017-18, a decision that will become official Tuesday.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN:

Payne will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Timberwolves can re-sign him, but only at a starting salary up to $3,100,094. Any other team can offer up to the max.

Payne probably won’t be worth $3,100,094 next summer. He’s a stretch four without 3-point range and a long 2-point jumper that is expectedly inefficient. He doesn’t move well enough in any direction, including vertically, to defend well. The concern on him coming out of Michigan State – that he relied too heavily on beating up on younger players – looks valid. Payne will be a 26-year-old free agent.

But $3,100,094 is a small amount against a large salary cap. Is it really worth letting Payne hit the open market without seeing what he does this season first?

This is the problem the Pacers ran into with Solomon Hill. They declined his $2,306,019 2016-17 team option, and he had a breakout year. He signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Pelicans this summer as Indiana could do nothing but watch.

I don’t expect Payne to duplicate Hill’s emergence, but the Pacers obviously didn’t see it coming with Hill, either. As long as Payne remains on the team, it’s probably worth Minnesota buying itself an extra year of potentially cheap labor.

If Payne develops, he could be an irreplaceable bargain. If he doesn’t, it won’t cost much to waive him – especially because the Timberwolves can stretch him.

Even if the odds are against that plan bearing fruit, the upside is high enough to justify exercising the option.

But Minnesota apparently feels differently. Barring a sudden change of plans in the next few days, Payne will be on an expiring contract.

Grizzlies guard Jordan Adams getting cartilage transplant

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies guard Jordan Adams is having cartilage transplanted into his right knee, the one he had surgery on last August after tearing the meniscus in an offseason workout.

The Grizzlies announced that the transplant was being performed Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. Riley Williams.

Adams played two games before hurting cartilage in the same knee. He had surgery Jan. 12 before a lengthy rehab program trying to return to basketball.

But he couldn’t play without pain, and Adams and the Grizzlies’ medical staff decided the guard needed a cartilage transplant.

General manager Chris Wallace called the surgery “difficult news” and said the Grizzlies hoped the procedure would help the 22nd pick overall in the 2014 draft out of UCLA return to the court.

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

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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.

Grizzlies’ Jordan Adams to undergo another knee surgery, miss more time

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There was hope that Jordan Adams could get the chance to break into the Grizzlies’ guard rotation this season. It hasn’t worked out that way. After an okay Summer League (averaging 16 points a game in Orlando shooting just 34 percent overall and 18.2 percent from three) he had knee surgery that slowed him. Adams hadn’t seen the court for the Grizzlies since the fourth game of the season. His knee was still an issue, but there was hope he could avoid another surgery.

No such luck. The Grizzlies announced that Adams will undergo another knee surgery next week. From the official press release.

Adams (6-5, 209) will undergo a surgical procedure on his right knee on Tuesday, January 12 at the Campbell Clinic, which will be performed by team physician Dr. Fred Azar and Dr. Robert Miller. There currently is no timetable for his return.

This is reported to be a simple scope job to clean things up, meaning a 6-8 week recovery time.

Adams is a guy the fans have called for — they want to see him play. It’s going to be a little while before they do. Hopefully, this summer he can prove he deserves a shot in the Grizzlies’ rotation.