Grizzles sign Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur to multi-year contracts
MEMPHIS, TN July 13, 2012 – The Memphis Grizzlies re-signed forwards Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur to multi-year contracts, Grizzlies General Manger and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“The re-signing of Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur is very important for the present as well as the future of the Grizzlies,” Wallace said. “Both Marreese and Darrell have proven to be players who can help us win, not just amass stats for themselves. Two seasons ago, Darrell was a vital player for our team which won the initial playoff game and series in franchise history. This past season, Marreese came riding into town in January and helped save our season after both Darrell and Zach Randolph went down to injuries. Both players also have considerable room to improve. This is a great day for the franchise that we have both of these crucial players staying in Memphis.”
Speights (6-10, 255) set career highs in scoring (8.8 points), rebounding (6.2) and minutes (22.4) in 60 games (54 starts) last season after Memphis acquired him from the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 4, 2012 in a three-team trade that also included the New Orleans Hornets.
With Speights in the starting lineup, Memphis posted a 37-17 record (.685) and went on to record the club’s highest-ever regular season winning percentage (.621). For the first time in franchise history, the Grizzlies clinched home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, where Speights averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.3 minutes in seven games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 24-year-old holds NBA career averages of 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes in 265 games (58 starts) over four seasons with the Grizzlies and 76ers. Philadelphia selected the St. Petersburg, Fla. native with the No. 16 overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft.
Arthur (6-9, 235) posted career bests in scoring (9.1 points), blocks (0.79), field goal percentage (.497), free throw percentage (.813) and minutes (20.1) in 80 games (nine starts) during the 2010-11 season before a torn right Achilles sustained on Dec. 18, 2011 caused him to miss the entire 2011-12 season. The 24-year-old underwent surgery on Dec. 22, 2011 and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2012-13 season.
Before suffering the injury, Arthur registered 7.1 points and 0.92 blocks in 15.5 minutes in 13 games during the 2011 NBA Playoffs, which included a first-round upset over the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs and a seven-game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Dallas native owns NBA career averages of 6.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.8 minutes in 188 games (74 starts) with the Grizzlies. After leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA National Championship, Arthur was selected by New Orleans with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and traded to Memphis on draft night.