The Memphis Grizzlies waived center Fab Melo on Friday, just two weeks after acquiring him and cash considerations from the Boston Celtics in exchange for the nonguaranteed contract of Donte Green.
Some will wonder why the Grizzlies, straddling the luxury tax line themselves, would do a trade in which they gave away a nonguaranteed contract, only to waive the guaranteed contract they got in return. For Memphis there is two incentives: a small trade exception generated and those cash considerations.
As Hoops World's Eric Pincus pointed out, the Grizzlies received $1.66 million in cash from Boston. That's more than enough to cover the cost of Melo's 2013-14 salary ($1.31 million). The Grizzlies must believe they will be able to stay below the tax line and this was a way to get a future asset and a little extra cash in exchange for a player that wasn't going to make their roster anyhow.
The lingering question for Boston is whether Green will stick around through training camp and get a chance to make the roster. Boston currently has 14 guaranteed contracts and, by releasing Green, would save $1 million and dip below the luxury tax line.
Despite being jettisoned by two teams, this isn't such a bad deal for Melo, who seemingly referenced that by Tweeting, "2 checks!" soon after his Memphis release. Indeed, if he goes unclaimed on waivers and signs with another team (whether in the NBA or overseas) this season, he'll essentially be paid by two teams (the money Boston sent Memphis, and his new squad).