The deal that has been rumored for days was completed today when the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Mario Chalmers from the Miami Heat in an attempt to upgrade their bench. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Memphis will send Beno Udrih, Jarnell Stokes and a 2nd Round pick to Miami in exchange for Chalmers and James Ennis, a 6'7" wing player in his third season out of Long Beach State.
The deal makes sense for both sides. It lightens Miami's luxury tax cost this season by approximately $6 million while replacing one expiring contract (Chalmers) and one partially guaranteed contract (Ennis) with the expiring of Udrih and the partially guaranteed of Stokes. For Memphis, it brings in a bigger wing in Ennis for that 15th man role that was filled by Jarnell Stokes, who became even more unnecessary in Memphis after the great early play this season of JaMychal Green. It also brings in Chalmers, who is an upgrade from Udrih (in theory) in the following ways that I mentioned in this past week's Friday Three column-
Chalmers gives you a bit more flexibility with regard to playing alongside Mike Conley. Chalmers' game, especially as a three point shooter (career 36% shooter from range) and athletic slasher would allow for Chalmers to play off the ball more effectively (in theory) than Beno. Mario at this point is also likely to be a better defender than Beno, even if the improvement isn't that impactful overall.
So, Memphis' front office must believe (perhaps rightfully so) that Chalmers will be a net gain over Udrih in the here and now. The deal does not hurt them financially this season (as they are still below the luxury tax threshold after renouncing several players' rights according to Bobby Marks) or beyond (Ennis is partially guaranteed, Chalmers is a 2016 free agent like Udrih.) Beno has not looked right so far this season, and Chalmers' potential to space the floor and defend his position is likely a low-risk high-reward move in the eyes of Grizzlies' brass.
Check in often with GBB as we continue to update and analyze the latest news on the Memphis Grizzlies.