The Memphis Grizzlies have made some poor free agent signings over the course of their history. While it’s not the main reason the organization has zero NBA championships, their lack of success in free agency has definitely played a part in it.
For this piece, we take a look at the five worst free-agent signings in Grizzlies franchise history. The organization’s inaugural campaign was in 1995-96, during which they were called the Vancouver Grizzlies. They played in Vancouver until moving to Memphis in 2001.
Despite having career averages of just 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds at the time, the Grizzlies gave Cardinal a six-year, $34.6 million free-agent deal in the summer of 2004.
Cardinal played 159 games with the Grizzlies. He averaged 5.6 points and played only 16.3 minutes a night before getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008.
Cardinal made $4,903,000, $5,393,300, $5,400,000 and $5,850,000, respectively, during his four years with the Grizzlies.
Stoudamire signed with the Grizzlies in the offseason of 2005. He was waived by the team in January of 2008 after averaging just 8.4 points and 4.6 assists in 118 games.
Stoudamire made $3,750,000, $4,050,000 and $4,350,000 annually in his three years with Memphis.
The Grizzlies signed A.I. to a one-year, $3 million free-agent deal in September of 2009.
The Answer was out of Memphis by November after agreeing to a buyout with the team. Iverson put up 12.3 points in three games with the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies gave Jones a three-year, $26.4 million contract in the summer of 2019. The Timberwolves wisely chose not to match the contract offer because it’s way too much money for a guy who has career averages of 5.6 points and 3.6 assists.
Tyus will make over $7 million annually during his time with the Grizzlies. Other than passing, the former Duke star can’t really do much else on the court.
The Grizzlies signed Parsons to a lucrative four-year, $94.5 million maximum contract in the summer of 2016. The deal made no sense since Parsons was coming off multiple knee surgeries with the Dallas Mavericks.
In 95 games with Memphis, Parsons averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 19.6 minutes a game. He made $22,116,750 in 2016-17, $23,112,004 in 2017-18 and $24,107,258 in 2018-19.
Memphis was finally able to get rid of Parsons during the summer of 2019 after trading the swingman to the Atlanta Hawks.