NBA / Aug 18, 2010 / 10:45 am

Grizzlies Playing Deal Or No Deal With Their Rookies

Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez were both at the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot yesterday wearing their blue Memphis jerseys with their name and number on it, but will the two currently unsigned rookies be rocking those when the season starts?

What’s the hold up? Sources say that the Grizzlies are trying to base their two rookies’ contracts off performance-based bonuses (i.e. making the All-Rookie Team or even making the Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend). The problem is that only one player has ever agreed to performance-based bonuses since the rookie salary scale was instituted in 1995. According to the current CBA, a team can pay a player up to 120 percent of their scale amount. For this upcoming season, the scale lands at about $1.7 million for the No. 12 pick. However, the Grizzlies would like to tie the extra 20 percent to bonuses.

Henry’s agent Arn Tellem spoke about the situation yesterday, saying that “basic fairness and equality are fundamental aspects of every positive organization-player relationship, and those concepts are totally absent from the Grizzlies’ current proposal to Xavier…”

So what will solve this problem? Well, on Henry’s behalf, Tellem said that his client would agree to bonuses that are regularly offered to reach the full 120 percent (for example playing in the NBA Summer League would be considered a part of these bonuses).

Tellem and Henry’s stance is simple: They are frustrated because no other team in this year’s Draft has asked a player to accept a performance incentive other than Grizzlies second round pick Vasquez as the team is taking the same approach with him as well.

What do you think? Are the Grizzlies in the wrong?

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  • Mr. TKO

    Hell yeah, they’re in the wrong. First they just spent beacuoup money on Gay and unless they have strong Performance based bonuses in the contract, then they need to suck it up and give these players a full contract.

    Maybe the bonuses would be more legit for a top 5, top 10 pick who has a pretty good chance of earning the bonuses but somebody that barely made the lottery and somebody that is a 2nd round pick isn’t a lock to make a lot of money during their career.

    If I have my math right, the Grizz are fussing over 340,000 extra for Xavier Henry. I understand a team trying to save money but at the NBA level, 340,000 is nothing. That’s like you and I throwing a fit cuz we got shorted a nickel.

  • Colton

    Wow! Why would that even be a big deal. Especially if the contract is giving them opportunities to make more money based on performance incentives on top of their regular salaries. You made it to the big time you fuckin pansies. Be thankful for the opportunity and enjoy your million plus dollar contract an show people why you deserve it. Why do rookies always have some false sense of entitlement … Divas, y’all need to eat some snickers!

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    The Grizzlies have every right to do this but it does seem like penny pinching if it’s only $340k. I commend them for trying to start a new trend but they will have to live with the consequences if this blows up in their face and the lose the rookies to other teams.

  • Nuc

    What happens if they do not sign. Can they go to another team this season?

  • karizmatic

    Actually I think the team is right…in lieu of the changing NBA landscape I think the Grizzlies reaction is sound. Obviously they may lose this battle but I think it’s a good negotiating strategy. More teams should try it, or maybe it’s a sign of things to come if the owners can’t get the kind of agreement they want with the CBA. Looking at where the players are exacting their leverage…maybe this type of incentive based contract is a counter move.

  • Celts Fan

    This MAY make sense if you’re coming aboard a loaded contender who had to pick someone w/ their pick, but come on now. This team needs all the help they can get and are located in an NBA wasteland (no offense, I like the city, but it’s not an NBA market, definitely not a destination city.) Don’t htink these guys won’t remember this when it’s time to negotiate extensions. If Henry’s as legit as I think he is, they’ll be paying A LOT more than an extra $340K for him in a few years. Tellem will squeeze out every cent possible. I hope they aren’t crying for a hometeam discount in a few years, cuz they just ensured that won’t happen. Also, FA’s out there see how cheap teh Grizz are being and should know tht this means they’re not truly dedicated to putting a winner on the floor and take a pass on this squad. It’s just further proof, even as they take strides towards relevance in the post-Gasol era, that they are a second class franchise and should be viewed as such.

  • CasualFan

    They gave up $82M for Rudy Gay but can give up about $340K for 2 rookies. This will come back to bite them later on….

  • yoda

    well, if they are over the cap, as far as i understand it, its not 340k, its 680k, because dollar for dollar tax. i might be wrong, still not sure about salary cap and luxury tax and all that mumbo jumbo.
    but, yeah, players are starting to act like divas. they demand extra money, but teams can’t punish them if they under achieve. jerome james got tons of dollars to produce, and he did nothing. its time that players get some slap in the face.

  • Coney Islander

    These players need to hold their ground and bleed these evil ass owners for every red cent!

  • Timmy989

    Vasquez was a first round pick

  • SEAN

    Get yo facts straight Greivis Vaquez was a first round pick

  • SEAN

    #28 in the first round

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    First of all, I hope that these two guys sign, because the Grizzlies could be a fun/surprising team next year.

    Second of all, “basic fairness and equality are fundamental aspects of every positive organization-player relationship, and those concepts are totally absent from the Grizzlies’ current proposal to Xavier…”

    Obviously I don’t know anything about the offer. That having been said, “basic fairness and equality are fundamental aspects” blah blah…sooo, without having played a second of ball for the Grizz, Henry and his agent want more than 100 percent of his scale contract? What’s the basis for their demand? “Xavier has tied his shoes correctly every day since being drafted”?

    Furthermore, what’s so radically UNFAIR about wanting to pay a player according to his performance? He’s going to get paid a ton no matter what, and he has a chance to make more IF he plays well. Sounds completely fair to me.