July 11, 2012
Bayless moves on from Raps
By RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Jerryd Bayless is now a former Raptor.
The Memphis Grizzlies signed the unrestricted free agent to a two-year deal, according to the Memphis Commerical Appeal and ESPN, that starts in the $3-million US range.
The Raptors withdrew their $4-million qualifying offer to Bayless last week, losing the right to match any offers in the process.
Bayless expressed an interest to stay after averaging career bests in points (11.4) and assists (3.8) per game last season, but with newcomer Kyle Lowry expected to start and incumbent Jose Calderon still on the scene, along with rookie Terrence Ross, starter DeMar DeRozan and free agent Landry Fields, there was no room for the combo guard to play a prominent role.
In Memphis, Bayless will replace outgoing free agent O.J. Mayo, who also spent time at both guard spots earlier in his career and provided scoring and defence off of the bench.
The Raptors will try to find a third-string point guard at summer league where Ben Uzoh and Xavier's Tu Holloway will compete for the spot and John Lucas III also is under consideration.
Toronto also made the Kyle Lowry for Gary Forbes and a protected first-round draft pick move official on Wednesday as the NBA's moratorium period ended.
According to Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo "Kyle represents what I would characterize as the future of the position."
The pick Houston will receive is protected 1-3 and 15-30 for the next three years; 1-2 and 15-30 in the two years after that; 1 and 15-30 in the fifth year and completely unprotected in the sixth year.
Colangelo said incumbent point guard Jose Calderon "was not thrilled" by the Lowry acquisition but said while offers for the Spaniard are pouring in, he also could be retained.