After the heartbreaking news that Grizzlies legend Zach Randolph agreed to a 2-year, $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings, all expectations were that Memphis would make every effort to keep restricted free agent JaMychal Green. Adrian Wojnarowski even mentioned it while talking on ESPN earlier in the day.
Woj on ESPN: Grizzlies are trying to re-sign JaMychal Green.— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) July 4, 2017
However, Grizzlies beat writer Ron Tillery of the Commercial Appeal sent out the following two tweets soon after the Randolph signing was announced:
JaMychal Green’s agent, Michael Hodges, tells The CA that he hasn’t talked to Memphis about contract parameters since FA opened.— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) July 4, 2017
JaMychal’s agent, Michael Hodges: "I’m looking at two offer sheets & sign-and-trades. Seems to us Memphis is going in a different direction”— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) July 4, 2017
Based on those tweets, it seemed as if Memphis was content to let JaMychal walk, or, at the very least, let the market set the price for him.
Chris Herrington and Peter Edmiston, also of the Commercial Appeal, were quick to note that without JaMychal, the Grizzlies were without many options when it came to adding players, and that the sign-and-trade route isn’t feasible.
Fwiw, barring trades, the Grizzlies have no mechanism left to acquire outside players for more than a few million. Doubt they're out on JaM.— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) July 4, 2017
Sign and trade would be impossible if he were to sign an offer sheet w/ another team fyi https://t.co/Wla33aKTIu— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) July 4, 2017
It’s possible that the comments from Green’s agent were posturing or an attempt to gain leverage in what’s certain to be a tight negotiation with cap space drying up, particularly once Gordon Hayward makes his decision (for real this time).
Another Woj tweet, sent around 3:30 p.m. CDT, also supports the idea that the Grizzlies are still interested in retaining Green’s services
Memphis made a July 1 offer to restricted free agent JaMychal Green and are now awaiting an offer sheet, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 4, 2017
Based on this, it appears that Memphis is waiting for the market to settle first. With Randolph’s departure, the team has very limited options for replacing those minutes at the power forward position outside of the restricted free agent.
Still, it bears watching what happens from JaMychal, who remains the Grizzlies’ most important free agency domino.