Report: Grizzlies to drop Wade Baldwin and Rade Zagorac
The Grizzlies have 16 players with guaranteed salaries on standard contracts – one more than the regular-season limit – plus partially guaranteed Mario Chalmers, who excelled when healthy for Memphis.
It appears the Grizzlies will solve that dilemma with a couple awkward subtractions – Wade Baldwin and Rade Zagorac.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Sources: Memphis plans to waive or trade guard Wade Baldwin -- 17th overall pick in 2016 NBA Draft -- before roster cutdown deadline today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 16, 2017
The Grizzlies are also planning to waive or trade forward Rade Zagorac today, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 16, 2017
Baldwin was the No. 17 pick just last year, and it’s incredibly rare to give up such a high selection so soon. But Baldwin was dreadful on the court as a rookie, appearing wholly incapable of running an offense or playing off the ball. The guard (ideally a point, but maybe a combo out of necessity) has potential defensively, but he’s not close to ready on the other end. After major questions about his attitude coming out Vanderbilt, perhaps it’s not entirely surprising he got the quick hook.
Zagorac’s is even quicker. The No. 35 pick last year, he first signed this summer – to a deal with multiple guaranteed seasons, including slightly more than the minimum this year.
If Baldwin and Zagorac are less valuable to Memphis than other players, the Grizzlies are better off cutting bait now. It looks bad, but compounding mistakes is far worse than publicly admitting errors and moving on.
Speaking of, it looks like I was totally wrong on Baldwin, though perhaps a team with less of a roster crunch would take a flier on him.