In a rather surprising move, the Memphis Grizzlies opted to waive center Fab Melo, whom they acquired a little over two weeks ago via trade. Melo has struggled to gain any sort of consistency since entering the league, having spent much of last season in the D-League.
The Grizzlies released a statement:
The Memphis Grizzlies have waived center Fab Melo, the team announced today. Melo was originally acquired on August 14, 2013 in exchange for forward Donte Greene.
Entering his second NBA season, Melo (7-0, 255) saw action in six games last season with the Celtics averaging 1.2 points in six minutes per contest. He appeared in 33 games for the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and a league-high 3.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game after being assigned to the Celtics affiliate on Nov. 14.
Drafted by Boston with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Melo decided to forgo his final two years at Syracuse University after being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in his sophomore season. In two seasons at Syracuse, he averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on .576 shooting in 17.3 minutes in 63 games (54 starts).
Having only played one season, Melo will be looking to find a spot on his third team in only a year. Not lacking in athleticism and certainly not in height, it will be interesting to see where the former Syracuse player winds up. There are certainly teams out there that could be willing to take Melo on as a project.
Melo will still collect $1.3 million this year, and on Twitter, he did not seem the least bit upset.
— Fab Melo (@Fabpmelo) August 30, 2013
Onto other news from around the league:
- Lamar Odom, who was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, is not being drug tested by the NBA. Here is a copy of his arrest report, and here is more on the situation from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “By itself, Odom’s arrest on suspicion of DUI would not be enough to trigger a probable-cause test under the NBA’s anti-drug program, league sources said. The league’s medical director and the players’ association would typically only be inclined to petition for such testing beyond the six random tests players already face if A) Odom were already in the league’s after-care program, or B) if a substance beyond alcohol were involved in his arrest. It is not known if Odom — who was suspended in 2001 for violating the league’s anti-drug policy twice in eight months — is in the NBA’s after-care program. What we do know is that as long as Odom is a free agent and not employed by an NBA team, he cannot be subjected to any league drug tests. That’s either a blessing or a curse for Odom. I fear it’s the latter, because clearly what he needs now more than anything is help.”
- In an interview with HOOPSWORLD; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters made some rather ambitious statements. As he patiently waits to begin his second season, he made it quite clear what goals he has set for the coming year: “I just feel as though I’m next up as far as shooting guards. If you look around, you know, Kobe [Bryant] and [Dwyane] Wade and those guys, they paved the way for a player like me and they’re almost done. It’s not like that, but I’m just saying, I’m coming. I just want everybody to know that.” It should certainly be noted that the shooting guard position isn’t filled with as much depth across the league as say the point guard is, so there is definitely no reason to think that Waiters couldn’t rise into the top of that list at some point. Second among his rookie class in points per game, Waiters role is expected to increase on a Cleveland team that has it’s first legitimate shot at the playoffs since the departure of LeBron James and “The Decision”.
- The Houston Rockets were so determined to get rid of Royce White, they agreed to pay his salary when they dumped him on the Philadelphia 76ers. From The Bucks County Courier-Times: “An NBA source said the Rockets, who dealt him to the Sixers on July 6 along with a second-round pick and Turkish power forward Furkan Aldemir for future considerations and cash, are picking up the $1.7 million salary of White, who has an anxiety disorder and is afraid to fly. That means the Sixers have nothing invested in White — and that the 21-year-old Aldemir was the primary target in the deal, which the source confirmed.” Think about what that means. Morey was so desperate to get White off his roster that he is paying his salary. That happens in baseball but it is virtually unheard of in the NBA. There is NO WAY Sixers GM Sam Hinkie is picking up White’s third year option in October.
- As the offseason continues to drag on, there are plenty of unusual yet intriguing stories to keep track of. Amir Johnson of the Toronto Raptors certainly didn’t mind sharing what he’s been up as he took to sharing a rather interesting picture on his instagram today. Taking advantage of the limited days he has left before he has to report for Training Camp, Johnson has managed to elevate himself even more atop the back of an elephant. It’s good to see him getting the most out of his vacation as he enjoys his downtime. The Raptors are another team looking to make noise this upcoming season in the East, and a rejuvenated Johnson is expected to play a large role in that. Check out our Raptors preview.
- Caron Butler appears to be optimistic about the chances of the Milwaukee Bucks after being traded there earlier this week. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Racine Journal Times, Butler feels that he could provide a prominent role for a revamped Milwaukee team: “I think we’re going to be good, I really think we are,’ Butler said. ‘Adding myself to a team that has a dynamic scorer in O.J. Mayo, to a team that has a talented young point guard in (Brandon) Knight and has good big men like (Larry) Sanders and (Ersan) Ilyasova and other guys like Gary Neal … we can be really good. I think this will be the ideal situation for me and my family.” Butler has seen a decrease in production his past two seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers due to injuries and less minutes per game (24.1 last season). While he may be a far cry from his All Star days, it’s possible that he could serve as an impactful veteran for the franchise.
- It is good to be Quentin Richardson. First, you get signed and traded by the Knicks in order to facilitate the Andrea Bargnani deal. Then, you get waived — but still get your paycheck — and get to start looking for what Melo tweeted about before — a second paycheck. From Matt Moore of CBS Sports.com: “The Toronto Raptors have waived veteran swingman Quentin Richardson. Richardson was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Knicks in order to fill out trade requirements in the Andrea Bargnani deal. So Richardson was traded to the Magic, didn’t play, got waived and paid, signed with the Knicks, didn’t play, then got signed and traded, then waived before he could play. This dude’s hourly rate over the past year is insane. The assumption is going to be that Richardson, 33, can get on with another team. But veterans like him always seem to wind up on squads one way or another.