Saturday, July 1, 2017

Selden signs 2-year deal with Memphis Grizzlies; Tarik Black waived by L.A.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden flexes his muscles after a bucket by center Joel Embiid and a foul by Iowa State during the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. At left is Kansas forward Tarik Black and in back is assistant coach Jerrance Howard.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden flexes his muscles after a bucket by center Joel Embiid and a foul by Iowa State during the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. At left is Kansas forward Tarik Black and in back is assistant coach Jerrance Howard.


While the moves might not have carried the same splash as Paul George being traded to Oklahoma City or Chris Paul going to the Houston Rockets, the first official day of NBA free agency 2017 featured some news involving a couple of former Jayhawks.

First, the good.

After emerging late last season as a viable option in their backcourt, the Memphis Grizzlies signed Wayne Selden Jr., to a two-year contract, per Basketball Insiders. Selden later Tweeted out the news and his appreciation.

“Blessed to officially be a part of the Grizzlies family & organization” Selden wrote. “Thank God for the opportunity. Ready 2 keep workin & gettin better.”

A former undrafted free agent who began his career in the NBA’s D League and played in just 14 games with the Grizzlies last season, Selden was on a partial contract with Memphis but now will move forward into summer league action and beyond with more security and a solid spot on their roster.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Selden made five starts for the Grizzlies in limited time, including two in the playoffs against San Antonio.

While Selden was getting good news, a former Selden teammate was getting bad news. One-year Jayhawk Tarik Black, who carved out a solid role with the Los Angeles Lakers during the past couple of seasons, was waived by L.A., according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Black, who appeared in 144 games with the Lakers during the past three seasons, including 43 starts, averaged six points and three rebounds in 17 minutes per game during his time in Hollywood.

As a cap-friendly option with good experience, athleticism and a team-first mentality, many NBA analysts believe the chances are good that Black will catch on with another team and provide frontcourt depth for his new squad the way he did the Lakers.

Mason’s first pitch a strike

For the second time in the past 11 months, former Kansas star Frank Mason III was on the Kauffman Stadium mound throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Kansas City Royals game.

The first time, last August during KU Day at The K, Mason fired his pitch to teammate Devonte’ Graham but watched it bounce before getting to the plate.

Saturday, with a chance at redemption, Mason zeroed in and fired a pitch over the plate that may have just caught the lower edge of the strike zone.

Mason, who lamented bouncing the pitch last August, seemed pleased and appreciative about the opportunity to redeem himself.

“Thx 4 the love KC this weekend,” Mason Tweeted. “Will miss y'all but will be back soon.”

Walters promoted

Former Kansas guard Rex Walters, who has coached both college and professional basketball during his post-Kansas life, recently was added to the Detroit Pistons coaching staff, per a team release.

Walters, who coached the Grand Rapids Drive in the NBA’s Developmental League last season, also served as the head coach at the University of San Francisco for eight seasons following a seven-year stint as an NBA player with New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami.

Walters will serve as a full-time assistant to Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy.

“Rex brings great basketball knowledge and experience and does a great job of developing young players,” Van Gundy said in a team statement. “We were very happy with the way he worked with our young Pistons players last season when they were on assignment in Grand Rapids.”

Walters’ addition to the Pistons’ staff will give him the opportunity to work with former KU star Marcus Morris.


Joe Ross 4 years, 3 months ago

What is Pritchard doing in Indiana? The Paul George move is a complete head-scratcher.

Matt Tait 4 years, 3 months ago

Weird deal for sure. Seemed like they had better offers at least at some point but many are saying that Pritchard was determined to move George out of the East if he was going to move him, hence no Boston or Cleveland.

I like George in OKC a lot, but I saw someone point out that it could be all part of a plan by him to spend the year recruiting Westbrook to LA with him in 2018.

Crazy stuff. Fun to follow. Glad I'm not directly involved.

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 3 months ago

The conduit between KU and Memphis has worked out much better this time. But, it benefits the Memphis Grizzlies and the city of Memphis this time. Wayne Selden landing a contract for the Grizzlies is the better of the recent moves with the Lawson brothers going to KU from the U of Memphis. Now, we need Uncle Anthony to show up to some home games and support Wayne in the way only he can do!

Don Everett 4 years, 3 months ago

Pritchard did the best he could by keeping him out of the Eastern Conference. George wasn't going resign no matter what. Maybe he'll pull the same thing Philly did by sucking to build the team.

Tracey Graham 4 years, 3 months ago

Wayne is going to have to fight another ex-Jayhawk for playing time -- the Grizzlies just reached a deal with Ben McLemore

Commenting has been disabled for this item.