One of the weirdest sagas of a weird 2010 NBA offseason was the Memphis Grizzlies' insistence of attaching serious performance-based incentives to the rookie contracts for first-round draft picks Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez. Henry's camp made the most fuss, as the rookie refused to participate in Summer League.
Last night, the whole thing finally got resolved, and it was the Grizzlies who ended up folding. Via Michael Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
A stalemate between the Grizzlies and their first-round draft picks has ended with the team agreeing to remove performance-based bonuses in its contract offers.
Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez agreed in principle to deals Wednesday night through their respective agents. Both players will sign contracts worth 120 percent of the NBA's rookie salary scale designated for their draft positions.
NBA teams are allowed to offer first-round draft picks anywhere between 80 and 120 percent of the mandated rookie scale slot for their draft positions. Teams traditionally offer the full 120, or at least attach reasonable incentives like Summer League participation and mandatory attendance at community functions. However, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley insisted the Grizzlies only guarantee the players 100 percent of the scale and make the additional 20 percent contingent on the players either making the All-Rookie team, participating in NBA All-Star weekend or playing in at least 15 minutes a game in 70 games.
The agents for both players balked, and Heisley went on the offensive, defending his actions in an uncomfortable interview with Chris Vernon of 730 Fox Sports earlier last month. According to Tillery, however, the league talked to Heisley, and Heisley now admits he took the wrong stance.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy the issue has been resolved," Heisley said. "There's no question I'm doing what I should have probably done earlier."
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