Monday, October 16, 2017

Grizzlies to waive or trade Baldwin, Zagorac today

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Wade Baldwin IV - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Wade Baldwin IV

The Grizzlies have until the close of business today to get down to the official 15-man opening night roster, and it's been a matter of some speculation who would be the final players waived.

As first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by the Flyer, the two guys on the outside are Wade Baldwin, IV and Rade Zagorac.

The decision to cut bait with Baldwin is no doubt the more frustrating of the two. Taken in last year's first round, Baldwin failed to develop in a way that the Grizzlies found promising, and you only have to do a couple of Twitter searches to find evidence that he lacks a level of self-awareness and maturity to indicate that growth would be happening any time soon.

As for Zagorac, it seems like the Grizzlies signed him to a guaranteed deal simply to keep him from signing a multi-year deal with Mega Leks or some other European team, essentially paying him a million bucks to try out for the team. So while it's not ideal that the pick didn't pan out, the stakes are also somewhat lower given that the only reason Zagorac is being cut and not Jarell Martin is that Martin came into training camp and preseason playing at a level he's never shown before.

You win some, you lose some. There are other guys they could've taken with both picks who would've panned out better, for sure, and especially with Baldwin, who frankly should've been able to play better than Andrew Harrison and Kobi Simmons if he wanted to keep his spot. It's frustrating to see a team so historically starved for development letting go of two young players who have shown promise, but also admirable to see them admit the mistake, cut the sunk costs, and move on. It also speaks to how unlikely it was for Mario Chalmers to make a nearly-full recovery into a solid backup point guard.

At any rate, now we know who the 2017-18 Grizzlies will be, barring any unforeseen transactions. Let's hope the players who won the battles for roster spots continue to show why they were the ones to keep.



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