We are hearing from the Salt Lake Tribune, or more accurately the Twitter account of their beat writer, that the Utah Jazz have traded Ronnie Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies for a protected first round draft pick in the 2011 draft.
It's not altogether clear what the protection on the pick is, however, so it's difficult to assess the trade from the Jazz's standpoint.
But we do know that Ronnie Brewer has long been a desired trade target for Memphis because of his ability to play both the 2 and 3 positions with near-equal efficiency. That should allow O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay some much needed rest, because Sam Young has not been able to log significant enough minutes as the 6th man on a competitive team.
On the defensive end, Ronnie Brewer brings the Grizzlies a fundamentally sound defender who also gambles very successfully, his steal numbers are fantastic, and has great size for both positions. He's also an excellent rebounder for a shooting guard, given his size, and can bang with small forwards.
Offensively Ronnie Brewer is a bit of a mixed bag. He's a decent from mid-range but a poor outside jump-shooter, has mediocre handles, and isn't known to create his own shot particularly well. That being said, his athleticism is top-notch, he's a first-rate finisher, and his shooting percentage is typically above average for a guard because of his excellent shot selection.
Additionally this trade should vastly improve the Grizzlies current and future flexibility. With Darrell Arthur back and logging decent minutes and the addition of Ronnie Brewer, Coach Lionel Hollins should be able to experiment with some more creative rosters. Especially intriguing is the possibility of O.J. Mayo logging more minutes at point guard with Brewer in at shooting guard.
Next season should, god forbid, Rudy Gay get a big deal that Heisley is unwilling to match, Ronnie Brewer will provide the Grizzlies with a much cheaper fill-in option in RFA. While Brewer certainly can't score on the perimeter or create his own offense like Rudy, he is arguably a better defender.
If the Mike Conley trade rumors were true, he also provides the option of Memphis moving forward with O.J. Mayo at the point, Brewer at shooting guard, and Rudy Gay playing small forward.
Overall this trade has to be seen as an absolute coup d'etat for the Grizzlies, who've not only weakened a competitor in the Western Conference, but also secured a young player already easily capable of being the 5th best player on a very competitive squad.