D.J. Kennedy Cut By Grizzlies. Is a Return to the NBA D-League Next?

Apr 25, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard D.J. Kennedy (12) stands with the ball in the second quarter against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Just a few days after signing a foursome of D-League alum to their training camp roster, the Grizzlies announced Tuesday that they would in fact be waiving a former Erie BayHawk.

Memphis first acquired D.J. Kennedy in late July in what appeared to be a bit of a salary dump, shipping Jeremy Pargo out to Cleveland along with a future second round pick and cash.

Though the deal itself was more about moving Pargo than anything else, there was hope that Kennedy would stick around after not having been immediately released.

Instead, the St. John's Red Storm alum is out in Memphis with just less than two weeks remaining until teams open camp. What will be the guard's next move? Take the jump as we examine this further.

After signing a late season non-guaranteed contract through this coming season with the Cavs, many thought Kennedy would finally have the shot to prove himself that he'd waiting for. Following his fight back from an ACL injury that occurred in mid-2011, the guard caught on with the BayHawks in the D-League last season.

Doing more than simply proving he could compete at that level, Kennedy turned heads by averaging 15.7 points, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. What's more, his shooting percentages were ever so efficient at 45% from the field and 38% from deep.

Despite his smaller 6'5" frame, Kennedy defends well and rebounds aggressively. He's the type of player who can move well with the ball and likes to push the tempo. His ability to bounce back from the injury, paired up with the fact that he was playing for the Knicks' D-League affiliate, even led to rumors that Kennedy would eventually return to the Big Apple to play for the NBA squad following a successful college career at St. John's.

His existent talent aside, Kennedy is still a bit of a raw prospect who could use more time to develop. Forced to miss 2011 pre-draft workouts, a stint in the D-League was key for him to finally earn experience at a higher professional level. He also averaged 6 points and 3.5 rebounds in two NBA contests in April.

After having kept him on the roster this long, one has to assume the Grizzlies' front office felt as though he was lacking something necessary enough to warrant a chance to play through training camp.

With little time left to secure another camp invite, perhaps Kennedy will eventually be returning to the D-League. Playing well enough to earn "Honorable Mention" in regard to the "All-NBA D-League" squads last season, the potential for the young gun to succeed is certainly there. He just may need more time to continue turning NBA executives into believers.

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