According to ESPN reporter and continual ray of sunshine Zach Lowe, while nothing is set in stone, the Grizzlies are quite concerned about the Mario Chalmers injury
Ahead of MRI results, Grizzlies officials fear Mario Chalmers indeed ruptured his Achilles. Nothing final yet, but that's the worry.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 10, 2016
Looked like it last night. This really sucks for Mario because he worked hard to get back on a roster and into some playing time with the Grizzlies this season and has played exceedingly well. This would be a downer even if there were not so many guys on the MASH unit that is the Grizzlies injury list.
According to Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal, the Grizzlies may be looking to add not just a replacement for Chalmers, who they may have already added, but a few other players as well.
No idea what's already been reported but looks like Griz will pursue two more injury exemptions, in addition to Weber, 1 guard, 1 big.— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) March 10, 2016
The Commercial Appeal's Ron Tillery came to the same conclusion
Memphis has already petitioned the NBA for an injury exception that allows it to sign a 16th player in the wake of injuries to Mike Conley (foot) and Chris Andersen (shoulder). Teams must have four players unable to play due to injury at the same time. Players must miss three consecutive games and also be ruled out for some time.
That is the case for Conley (likely dealing with a sore Achilles) and Andersen (dealing with a partially dislocated shoulder) who will sit out a third straight game Friday when the Griz host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Griz have guard Briante Weber on their radar. He’s a defensive-minded point guard with Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League. Memphis can absolutely apply for as many injury exceptions as needed.
Wallace will surely seek another one with the likelihood that Chalmers could be lost for a while.
The Griz don’t have a point guard. They have no backup point guard. Memphis also doesn’t have a roster spot to sign a player for the rest of the season. In the short term, the Griz will cobble together a roster using a series of 10-day contracts.
Beyond that, who knows?
There are three questions that are on my mind, besides why do the basketball gods hate us?
One- What on earth is the NBA's hardship provision?
According to Larry Coon's fabulous CBA FAQ
A hardship can be deemed to exist when a team has four players who are sick or injured and have missed at least three games, and will continue to be unable to play. If a hardship is granted, the hardship ends when one of the sick or injured players is physically able to resume playing. The team must then release player(s) to get back to the roster limit, although teams have the option to retain the hardship player and release a different player to get back to the limit.
In essence, four or more players miss three consecutive games, the CBA allows rosters to be extended by one player. So Marc Gasol, Jordan Adams, and Brandan Wright already have qualified for this, and Mike Conley and Birdman will be qualified after Friday's game against New Orleans. Any injuries beyond the fourth injury, in this case Birdman and Mario Chalmers, another roster exception can be added.
There is also what is called a Disabled Player Exemption, where a player can be signed for either the Mid-Level Exception of half of the replaced players base salary, but this will not really apply to the Grizzlies because they will probably only have D League players left to choose.
Two- Who on earth can the Grizzlies add to the roster?
Part of this question is easy. The Grizzlies will add Briante Weber, a guard who was drafted by the Miami Heat but who had been playing in the D-League this season, on a ten day contract. He will not be available to play until Saturday night because the roster exception will not be added until after Friday's game
Memphis Grizzlies plan to sign guard Briante Weber of Sioux Falls to 10-day contract w/ injury exception, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 9, 2016
There has also been rumors of adding Jeff Ayres, who last played for the Clippers on a series of ten day contracts in February. There is also any number of available vets that could also be added to the roster, such as Baron Davis, Jimmer Fredette, or Reggie Evans, but according to Chris Herrington today on the Chris Vernon Show, the Grizzlies are not that interested in adding a veteran player.
Two other names that the Grizzlies still have control over, Andrew Harrison and Nick Calathes, are possibilities. Calathes would be taking a considerable pay cut to join a team that did not want him back, and Harrison is on a D-League contract and will probably not be added at this point either. So neither of these guys seem like replacements.
Three- What does this mean for the current roster?
The injured exception allows for the replacement players to stay on the roster until the injured players are ready to play again. So as players come back from injury, roster spots would need to be made to get the roster back to sixteen. For example, If Mike Conley was the sixteenth injury, one of the players used to replace him would have to be cut in order to add Mike back to the active roster.
There are two players on the injured list that have contract that expire at the end of the season: Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen. If it is determined that neither of these players can return this season, it is a definite possibility that the players could be cut in order to make room on the roster. Chalmers has Bird Rights going into next season, and this would be advantageous to keep if you plan on resigning the player next season. If not, then there will need to be a decision made on whether or not he would stay on the roster.
If Chalmers is a ruptured Achilles, they need to decide whether freeing up a roster spot now is worth losing his Bird Rights.— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) March 10, 2016
Andersen does not have Bird Rights, so if he is not likely to return he will probably be released.
No matter what, all of this surely does suck. Now excuse me while I go try to get over all of this.