1. Memphis roster to 14, but could be much shorter
The Memphis Grizzlies reduced their roster to 14 players with Thursday night’s trade with the Chicago Bulls, sending out reserves MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden and getting back just Justin Holiday in return.
Holiday’s availability is undetermined at this point. Traded players have to get medical clearance and everyone involved in the deal has to clear before any of them is eligible to participate in games.
The Grizzlies are also without veteran small forward Chandler Parsons, who hasn’t played since Oct. 22 and has played in just 73 games over three seasons since signing a four-year, $94 million free agent deal with Memphis in July 2016.
Point guard Mike Conley, who struggled through a scoreless outing in 29 minutes Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, has been listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, but Conley told Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian after going through Thursday practice that he would play.
With the root of the spat Wednesday night between Grizzlies players reportedly over the performance of the bench players, it’s worth mentioning that Memphis’ bench ranks in the middle of the NBA in bench scoring, 18th overall at 34.8 points per game.
The Grizzlies are just 26th, however, in bench rebounding at 14.0 per game and are 23rd, using the bench an average of 17.6 minutes per game.
Brooklyn has one of the most prolific — and busiest — reserve groups in the NBA, averaging a league-high 20.9 minutes and 21.3 rebounds (thanks, Ed Davis!) per game and are second in the league at 46.5 points a night.
Memphis GM Chris Wallace addressed the Wednesday night incident before practice on Thursday, apologizing to fans for an “incident.”
Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi, the principles in the “incident” both told the media (per nba.com) there’s nothing to see, that it’s over and buried.
"“Some things were said and some things happened. At the end of the day we’re brothers. We’ve known each other since we were rookies. At the end of the day, we came out of that meeting … on the same page and we’re moving on from it.”"
For his part, Casspi had little to add:
"“Obviously, whatever happens between our locker room should stay in the locker room. I think all of us as a group obviously frustrated with the situation.”"
Whether the incident serves as a galvanizing factor for a struggling team or further frays the threads holding a sinking season together will begin to be answered Friday night when the Nets come to town.