Memphis, Tenn. Xavier Henry has won his contract battle with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies on Wednesday removed performance-based bonuses from contract offers to former Kansas University guard Henry and former Maryland player Greivis Vasquez, and the first-round NBA Draft picks could sign deals as soon as today, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports.
Team owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal on Wednesday night that he was on the wrong side of the issue and made his decision after NBA officials provided an in-depth explanation with regards to the spirit of the collective-bargaining agreement.
Henry and Vasquez have been in a contract stalemate with the Grizzlies since the June draft. Henry refused to play for the Grizzlies’ summer league squad.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy the issue has been resolved,” Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal. “There’s no question I’m doing what I should have probably done earlier.”
Teams can pay players between 80 and 120 percent of an amount set by the league’s rookie scale. The Grizzlies had offered Henry and Vasquez 100 percent of their respective salaries, with the extra 20 percent tied to performance-based bonuses. Heisley said both players will be offered 120 percent of the rookie salary scale without performance requirements.
“In the general spirit of the way it (the CBA) was put together, I felt we should relent and not have a performance situation,” Heisley said. “I don’t think I was on the right side of the issue.”
Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem, was so incensed by incentives, including averaging 15 minutes in at least 70 games, he told the New York Times he would pay Henry $2 million this season if he had to sit out.
“I will never yield to pressure, and Xavier’s family feels the same way,” Tellem said. “I feel as strongly about this as anything I ever have in my life.”
Henry said, “It hasn’t turned into a disaster because of the people behind me that are supporting me.” He said Tellem’s gesture, “means I picked the right people to go with.”
The No. 12 draft pick makes approximately $1.7 million this season, $1,809,700 his second season and $1,936,000 his third campaign.