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GBB Vs. The Trade Machine Part One: Trading Jeff Green

The GBB Staff trades away the polarizing Jeff Green before the Thursday deadline in our first installment of GBB vs. The Trade Machine.

With the trade deadline just two days away, the Grizzlies at 31-22 with a firm grasp on fifth place in the Western Conference, and facing the very real possibility of the rest of the season without Marc Gasol, the NBA trade deadline just got a little more interesting for the Memphis Grizzlies.  We here at Grizzly Bear Blues wanted to celebrate one of the best days of the year with a round table of some of the smartest and most interesting minds here at GBB and around the blogosphere.

Chatting with me today is GBB staff members Joe Mullinax, Chip Williams, Wes George,  and Corban Ford, along with the Founding Editor of All Heart in Hoop City, Aimee Stiegemeyer, and everyone's favorite Grizzly Bear Blues commenter, GBB Commenter.

Welcome to Terror Dome.

Today is part one of a three part Trade Deadline series, and its on a topic that many Grizzlies fans did not think could get here fast enough.

But first, some preliminaries.

What should the Grizzlies do at the trading deadline?  Should they go into it with the idea of making the team better now, keeping the team competitive now but thinking about the future, or just tanking the rest of the season?

Joe Mullinax @JoeMullinax- Memphis needs to look for the following at the trade deadline (in this order)...

A. Young players who are approaching restricted free agency.
B. Veteran players on "good deals" as the cap rises next season
C. Draft picks

Letter C is unlikely at this point, so I have essentially removed it as an option. This roster needs to get younger, but that overhaul in essence doesn't officially get underway until Zach Randolph and Tony Allen's contracts expire in 2017. So, if the team looked for veteran players whose deals will look a hell of a lot better next season with the salary cap going up than they do now, they can field a team to finish out this "Grit and Grind" era and still be competitive.

Chip Williams @chipwilliamsjr- I think any move that the Grizzlies make at the deadline has to be made with an eye on the future. They've gone all-in the last few seasons, and for good reason, but in doing so they've mortgaged their future. The asset cupboard is bare, and it needs replenishing. Not to say that the Grizz should go into full tank or blow-it-up mode, but they should look to sell off an expiring veteran or two and try to get some sort of future value - or get a younger player that is locked in for another few years for some expirings.

Wes George @BearWitnessBlog- The Grizzlies' brass wants to make the playoffs this year because they don't want to give up their first round pick to Denver if they're in the lottery. But this approach is short-sighted. The protections on that pick become more dangerous over time, and we also have to factor in the future first rounder that we owe to Boston from last year's dumpster fire of a trade for Jeff Green. The last thing the Grizzlies need is to fade out of contention over the next 4 to 5 years and find themselves losing one of the top picks in the draft like we did in 2003.

Thus, the Grizzlies should look at this as a "lost" season, possibly conceding this year's pick to Denver, and find any way to garner future assets in the meantime.

Corban Ford- I personally feel like at this point the Grizzlies should move on from the Grit and Grind era and start moving to clear house  while at the same time taking expiring contracts so that we can begin our youth movement starting this upcoming offseason. With that being said I do have a couple of trades that I'd like to see, a couple involving Jeff Green and a couple that would just begin the whole overall overhaul of the Grizzlies

Aimee Stiegemeyer @MamaHellCat-

In the wise words of German philosopher Immanuel Kant, "seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them."

Which is a fancy way of saying I’m taking my cues here directly from voices that carry far more weight than mine. I could be wrong, but I don’t see the Grizzlies making any major moves before the trade deadline.

During postgame media interviews after the Brooklyn game, Mike Conley laid to rest any notion that tanking is on the table, or even on the radar of these guys, with this statement: "We’re not flushing this season down the toilet. That’s the statement we’re going to make to everybody."

If that’s not enough for you, Zach Randolph’s remarks were in a similar vein: "We’re going to play for him [Marc Gasol] and win. Everybody has to step up… Me, Mike, TA. Everybody."

Can’t make it any clearer than that. These guys want to win, and the success of this team is predicated almost entirely on the core four. More than that, I think they don’t just want to win, they want to win together. Tanking isn’t an option, they have far too much pride for that. Obviously Marc Gasol’s broken foot throws the proverbial monkey wrench in the "win now" mindset, but it’s not insurmountable.

And in the interest of full disclosure, win now refers more to winning with this squad instead of blowing it up and starting over, rather than win now as in win the championship this season. Because unless something significantly major happens between now and then, this is Golden State’s league right now, and everyone else is just playing in it. I underestimated the extent to which it was possible for the Warriors to have improved in the offseason. They went from next-level to other-worldly over the summer.

I have remained cautiously optimistic about this Grizzlies team as it is currently constructed, while expecting that there would likely be an adjustment period as the existing roster developed an on-court chemistry of sorts. I didn’t expect we’d come out of the gate and receive the sort of thrashings we did early on, it was just ugly and painful to watch. Things definitely snowballed in the earliest part of the season as the team’s collective confidence took a beating.

Losing Brandan Wright to injury so early on didn’t help matters either, and it’s contributed to the exact thing his signing was supposed to prevent: Marc Gasol suffering a major injury from overuse, because the Grizzlies don’t have anyone on the roster that can function as a reliable backup for him. Which leaves us where we are now, with most likely course of action being Ryan Hollins gets a deal to stay at least through the season, because we are just that desperate for a tall, warm body.

GBB Commenter- Its definately been said before me, the discussion about whether the Griz should buy or sale at the deadline is CLOSED with the Marc injury. The Griz HAVE to be buyers in order to even compete. Now is the time for them to buy everything they can in terms of players. Your going to lose your draft pick if you don't make the playoffs which is a total bummer PLUS your going to have the embarrassment of missing the playoffs instead of teams like the Blazers and the Rockets. This team has been working hard to build a image of being a competitor the past several seasons. You can't put that at risk this year by missing the playoff

And now...without further adieu.....


Joe- This hurts my heart...but here it goes.

Memphis receives Allen Crabbe, Chris Kaman
Portland receives Jeff Green, James Ennis, Future 2nd Round Pick

Memphis does the deal because it serves two purposes- it gets them a young player in Crabbe who is a Restricted Free Agent, who they can match an offer for this Summer and keep on the roster, and it bolsters their front court for the next 3 months while saving Memphis some cash. Crabbe is a career 37% three-point shooter and at the age of 23, he is approaching his prime instead of being in it already or already out of it. For Portland, they get a big wing in Jeff Green who can play multiple positions coming off the bench and get to the rim effectively, as well as Ennis, who will be under contract next season and could potentially be a rotation guy for them next season.

It also makes Portland potentially larger players in free agency next season- with C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard in the fold, the Trail Blazers seem to be a possibly desirable location for players who may be better than Crabbe, who would likely cost them $8-10 million or more to hold on to beyond this season. Memphis, meanwhile, will happily pay that price.


The Suns need to move off Markieff Morris, and the Grizz are probably going to have to take a couple of risks if they want to get back to being one of the elite competitors in the West. The Grizz get a guy who's proven to be a good player and is on a great contract, and the Suns go into full blow-it-up mode by getting away from Kieff and getting off his contract.

Wes- Gladly...

The incentive here for the Suns isn't so much Green himself as his expiring contract. They would do it to get that $8-9 million off the books this summer and start fresh, tabula rasa.

The Grizzlies take on a lot of risk here, but the potential return of a ​very solid player on an extremely valuable long term deal is too enticing to pass up. I love this deal.

Corban-  The Grizzlies get a dynamic Power Forward who can play out the low post but is also a good shooter from mid range as well as from deep.He can also pass and rebound at a good clip and would instantly diversify the Grizzlies offense, especially with the loss of Marc Gasol for an undetermined amount of time with his broken foot. For the Suns, they essentially just get rid of a locker room cancer (for them) in Morris while also gaining some flexibility and having the ability to start to remake their roster by embracing the youth movement completely once and for all. Jeff Green will also be able to have all the PT that he once as he attempts to showcase his skills before free agency in the hopes of getting maybe one multi year deal for a team that may be fooled by all of his many inconsistent talents.

GBB Commenter- This is probabley the easiest of the trades to get done. Pheonix wants to get rid of their other Syamese Twin, and Memphis is the perfect place for him. Once you get him away from the toxicness with the Suns and into a situation in Memphis where he can be mentored, your going to get a big payoff. Guys like Matt Barnes are going to be instrumental in teaching Markieff to stop fighting his own teammates and start fighting the OPPONENTS teams and there coaches, and once that happens the skies the limit for Markieff.

Aimee- *Disclaimer: None of these are meant to be the piece that puts the Grizzlies over the top. Some of them aren’t remotely plausible, they just amused me. If it were up to me, we’d re-sign Courtney Lee and Jeff Green over the summer. Same with Mario Chalmers and Matt Barnes.

Paul George. Do I really need to say anything else? If anything, I think he’s gotten better since coming back from that gruesome injury he suffered during the Team USA exhibition game in the summer of 2014. It’s not like Martin and Adams (when he’s not hurt) are doing anything but languishing away anyway, either in the D-League or the end of the Grizzlies bench. Brandan Wright is a nice guy, and I had such hopes for him as a Grizzly, but alas, the injury bug had other plans.  Ian Mahinmi can be a serviceable backup center, and did I mention Paul George?

Another in the "not likely, but would be fun to watch camp", also solves the problem of a stand-in for Marc Gasol until his foot heals and eliminates the need to give Ryan Hollins a roster spot. Plus, if you don’t want to see the Gasol brothers playing together as Grizzlies, you are doing life and basketball wrong.

Vote for your favorite Jeff Green trade below.

Tomorrow on GBB, Part 2...Trading Courtney Lee.