Memphis Grizzlies sign Christian Vital
Memphis, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team signed guard Christian Vital. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In addition, the Grizzlies waived guard Zhaire Smith (zhi-EAR).
Vital (6-2, 187) was named to the 2019-20 All-American Athletic Conference First Team after starting all 31 games and averaging 16.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.52 steals in 32.2 minutes as a senior at the University of Connecticut. He led the AAC in steals per game, total steals (78) and free throw percentage (.899) while ranking second in 3-point field goals made (66).
Undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft, the 23-year-old appeared in 127 games (93 starts) over his four-year career with the Huskies and averaged 13.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.69 steals in 30.6 minutes. The New York native left UConn ranked third in school history in total steals (215).
Smith (6-3, 205) has appeared in 13 games (two starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers and 39 games (30 starts) with the NBA G League’s Delaware Blue Coats over the last two seasons since he was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 16th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old Texas Tech product was signed by the Grizzlies on Dec. 15.