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Grizzlies Will Not Make Qualifying Offer to Ronnie Brewer

The exclusion of Ronnie Brewer's name from the official press release on Rudy Gay's qualifying offer surprised me, but it seemed reasonable to think it was just not front page news.

After all Ronnie Brewer only played a few games for the Grizzlies after a deal at the trade deadline. Fans hardly knew the shooting guard who doesn't really shoot, but specializes in defense and finishing around the rim.

GM Chris Wallace traded a future first round selection for Brewer, so it was assumed he was an asset the Grizzlies would retain. With the drafting of Xavier Henry, Brewer's minutes looked limited, but he could still be useful in a sign and trade. It's not inconceivable that he would be worth a late first rounder in return.

But today local radioman Chris Vernon talked to Wallace and found out that the Grizzlies will not even submit a qualifying offer to Brewer. So Ronnie Brewer will become an unrestricted free agent tonight at midnight, and the Utah Jazz will keep the Grizzlies's future first round pick after just five games played.

It should be noted that owner Michael Heisley has often promised to bring both Ronnie Brewer and Rudy Gay back next season. The seal on that promise might have just been officially broken.

There is almost no explanation for this move. Qualifying offers cost nothing to tender unless no other team is willing to match, and someone would have matched the one-year, $3.7 million offer. It is always smart to keep a player a restricted free agent because it gives leverage to either force a sign-and-trade or, at the bare minimum, at least complicate a rival's offseason.

If there's any reason to just let Brewer walk, it's that the Memphis front office was due to make at least one huge, blatant mistake this offseason.