In non-LeBron James related news, the Memphis Grizzlies re-signed guard Beno Udirh yesterday to a two-year, $2.1 million contract. The contract uses the Grizzlies bi-annual exception and makes the second year partially guaranteed.
Udrih was picked up on waivers by the Grizzlies who struggled in guard depth last year. Beno was mostly used as a third-string backup behind Mike Conley and Nick Calathes, but after Calathes went into a 20-game suspension after a failed drug test.
In the seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Udrih averaged 7.9 points and shot 47 percent.
With Beno signing for the next two-years, the future of backup point guard Nick Calathes gets even stranger. Calathes struggled mightly in the beginning of the season behind Conley and when Conley went down for a few games due to injury, Calathes starting left even more to be desired. But by season end he had found a groove and even developed a really good drive-and-kick game with Mike Miller. Calathes also grew to a lockdown defender to match the team’s chemistry.
And then the hammer dropped right before the playoffs when the NBA announced he was going to receive a twenty-game suspension for testing positive for Tamoxifen, an over the counter medication that has been used in the past for masking steroid use. Calathes and his agent said they were appealing the decision and that he was provided a prescription for the medication, but no new news has come out of that.
During this time, Calathes has been offered spots on teams in Russia where he can make more than his rookie scale. It would also be a return for him since he went overseas immediately after his college career ended at University of Florida. Calathes had good success playing in Greece, but still wanted to come play in the States.
Calathes has asked the Grizzlies front office for his release and pending approval from that release, it seems that it is bound to happen. Calathes is still on the rookie scale for 2014-15 and missing 1/6th of those games due to the suspension while being offered more in another league, coupled with the fact that his high school and college teammate Chandler Parsons just signed a $45 million offer sheet, is probably pushing Nick to leave the NBA.