It is rare in the NBA for a team to give up so soon into the career of a first-round draft pick. The release of Baldwin clears the way for free-agent guard Mario Chalmers to make the roster, league sources said.
With a strong preseason, Chalmers completed a comeback from an Achilles tear 19 months ago. Baldwin's release also solidifies guard Andrew Harrison's inclusion on the opening roster.
The Grizzlies also plan to waive forward Rade Zagorac, league sources said. Zagorac was a second-round pick in 2016 and had two years of guaranteed salary -- $950,000 in 2017-18 and $1.6 million in 2019-20 -- still owed him.
Baldwin, out of Vanderbilt, is the second first-round pick in recent years to be waived by Memphis. Jordan Adams, who was a 2014 first-rounder, was waived last year. Adams was the No. 22 pick.
The Grizzlies have been trying to find trades for Baldwin, but none materialized, league sources said.
Chalmers, 31, suffered a torn right Achilles injury in March of 2016 with the Grizzlies. After spending eight seasons as a starter with the Miami Heat -- including four trips to the NBA Finals and two championships -- Chalmers was traded to Memphis, where he averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 55 games before the injury.
Chalmers missed the full 2016-17 season rehabilitating the injury, and returned to Memphis on a non-guaranteed free agent deal to average 9.6 points and 2.8 assists in the Grizzlies preseason.
Memphis coach David Fizdale was an assistant coach with the Heat during Chalmers' eight seasons there.