It's that time of year again. The 2016 NBA trade deadline is a little over three weeks away, and the Memphis Grizzlies are poised to make some type of trade before the deadline passes.
So, let's rank the trade value of each of the Memphis Grizzlies, but first let's throw in a few notes:
The Grizzlies have 14 players that can be traded despite having 15 players on their roster. Ryan Hollins is on a 10-day contract and can't be traded.
This doesn't really mean much to the ranking, but the Grizzlies cannot trade a first-round pick until 2020 at the earliest. And assuming they make the playoffs, that will push back their next first-round pick they can trade to 2021.
These rankings are done by a highly-complex scientific method so you can't argue with them because it's science.
The rankings will be done 14-1 with 14 being the least valuable trade asset the Grizz have.
The rankings are done based on trade value, not how good the player is, though that is one variable that is considered. But contracts and value around the league are also weighed equally as heavily into these very scientific rankings, so simply because a player is ranked ahead of another does not mean that he is better or worse on the court than the players below him. It simply means that his trade value is higher.
Without further delay, here is the 2016 Memphis Grizzlies Trade Value Part One:
14. Vince Carter
You're not shocked, right? I mean this one was relatively easy. The player formerly known as Half-Man, Half-Amazing just doesn't have much NBA value at this point. His contract is not bad by any stretch, and if it was expiring, he might be higher up on the list. The problem is that VC has a partially guaranteed contract for 2016-17, and with no real value as a player, he becomes a very unattractive trade asset.
13. James Ennis
Come on, you remember this guy. He was part of the Mario Chalmers trade. Yeah, that guy. We haven't seen him much in a Grizzlies uniform, but you've probably seen something like this come across your Twitter or Facebook timeline: "James Ennis has been sent down to the Iowa Energy" or "James Ennis has been recalled from the Iowa Energy." That's about the only time we hear his name. At this point, Ennis hasn't done much in the NBA to warrant serious interest around the league, and his contract is so small ($845k) that it was almost certainly have to be traded with another contract(s) to bring back anything of real value. It's possible that Ennis does get moved before the deadline, but if he does, it will almost certainly be because the Grizzlies needed to match salaries with whomever they're trading with.
12. Jarell Martin
There's not too much to say here. Martin has been injured virtually since the day he was drafted with the 25th pick. The Grizzlies have almost no incentive to trade Martin because he hasn't even been able to show what he can do on the court. He's only 21 years old, and the Grizzlies have him under contract until 2018-19 at which point he enters restricted free agency. Once Martin gets back out on the court and proves that he can not only play but also that injuries won't be a lingering issue, his value as an asset will go up. But as of now, the only real value Martin has is his potential based off what he did in college and the fact that he's in the first year of his rookie deal.
11. Jordan Adams
I was talking with an NBA scout the other day about Jordan Adams, and he told me that the consensus around the league is that worst-case scenario Adams is James Harden with his ceiling being a Jerry West type shooting guard. Okay, I made that up, but I am excited about the prospects of young Jordan Adams. Unfortunately for his trade value, Adams has only logged 263 minutes over his first two seasons, and there's a good chance that we won't see him suit up in a Grizzlies uniform until October 2016. So he's in a similar situation in terms of trade value as Jarell Martin with the difference being that Adams has shown flashes at the NBA level of being a productive player, and he's already torched the D-League. I genuinely believe that the plan this year was to get Adams playing time. How much? I'm not entirely sure, but he would have played which makes this recent string of injuries extremely frustrating. Once he finally gets healthy and proves that he indeed can and will be what some think he can be, Adams will shoot up these rankings. But for now, he finds himself near the bottom.
10. Brandan Wright
This ranking has everything to do with the fact the Wright is injured. He's historically been an effective and efficient big coming off the bench or starting, and he's on a great three-year, $17 million deal. But he's hurt. And that's been a problem throughout his career. Here's the number of games Wright has missed starting with his rookie season in 2007-08 and ending with last season: 44, 43, 82, 45, 17 (lockout year), 18, 24 and seven. He's only been able to play in seven games so far this season, and there doesn't seem to be any definitive timetable for his return. When he's healthy and playing, though, he's one of the Grizzlies most attractive assets. Wright is just 28 years old with a advanced stats that are completely off the charts. The Grizzlies have him under contract for what should be the prime years of his career, and with the cap spiking and money being handed out to anyone who asks for it, the Grizzlies should have a tremendous value in Wright. They've just got to get him healthy.
9. Tony Allen
This is probably where you're thinking I'm completely crazy, but before you press that little red 'X' in the top right corner of your laptop or phone, let me explain. Obviously, there aren't eight players on the Grizzlies roster that are better than Tony Allen, but as I explained earlier, that's not what these rankings are about. Tony Allen has two years and roughly $10 million dollars left on his contract, and much like Vince Carter, if he were expiring, then his value would be slightly higher. But he's not expiring, and there seems to be at least a thought around the league that someone like a Tony Allen who gives you no floor spacing and can be guarded by a center (see: 2015 Golden State Warriors) has very little value in the 2016 edition of NBA basketball. Despite the fact that Allen is still one of the best defenders in the NBA (dirty little secret: TA has been the fifth or at worst sixth best player on the Grizzlies this season), his trade value is just not very high around the league, especially since he'll be 35 next season with a history of a knee injury and at least some of what makes him great is predicated on athleticism. The Grizzlies will never get equal or greater value for Tony Allen relative to what he means to them from a basketball and emotional standpoint.
8. JaMychal Green
I really wanted to put JaMychal Green higher in these rankings, but this felt about right. I'm still not entirely sure what Jam Green is and is going to become as an NBA player, but he's made strides this season to solidify himself at least a spot in the rotation (though that has been aided by the absence of Brandan Wright). Green is still relatively young (he'll turn 26 in June), and he's on a very cheap contract ($845k) with a $980k option for 2016-17. He's currently in the process of going from 'I'm going to out-hustle everybody and that's how I'll get minutes' to 'okay, this guy has some real talent.' He's hitting mid-range jumpers at a pretty decent clip, and he's hit 9-of-17 from three (6-of-9 on corner threes). Being on such a cheap contract, it's going to be somewhat difficult to get value back, so he'd almost certainly have to be traded in a part of a larger, multi-player deal. But I don't see any incentive for the Grizzlies to want to move Green. They can keep him under contract through next season, and he's developing at a good rate. This time next season, Green could be creeping near the top five in the trade value rankings.
That'll do it for part one. Part two is scheduled for Monday, January 31 where I'll rank the top seven most valuable trade assets on the Grizzlies roster.