As the team sits closer to the 1st overall draft pick than the 8-seed in the West, the Grizzlies look to be sellers at this trade deadline. This puts an interesting wrinkle to the season that the Memphis front office was not expecting. Chris Wallace and Co. must make a decision on which offers they will accept for expiring talent on this roster, i.e. Tyreke Evans.
What does this mean for us at GBB? We get to have fun with the Trade Machine!! In preparation for this article, I tried to find the most realistic trade possibilities for the Grizzlies knowing the mindset of the front office. It is a tricky time for them as they still keep saying the team can turn the tides and get to the 8th seed. Now, that may be delusional thinking on their part, it puts a limit on what trades the fan base should expect.
As we all know by now, Tyreke Evans is the Grizzlies best trade asset. Adrian Wojnarowski is even reporting on the Grizzlies asking teams about what is worth. He is on an expiring contract, and the Grizzlies will not be able to pay him in the offseason. So, now the question becomes what value is placed on a 28-year old rental averaging 19.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists a game?
I went into the top four of my favorite trade possibilities that the Grizzlies could do before the February 8th deadline. Let’s dive in.
Tyreke Evans to Boston for their own 2018 BOS 1st rounder (lottery protected) and Abdel Nader
This trade idea came to us from CelticsBlog after GBB’s Site Manager, Joe Mullinax, reached out to other SB Nation sites to see what trades they would create for their team and the Grizzlies. This is one of the ones I liked a lot.
Tyreke’s real value is a first rounder from a title contender. As I have said before, we have seen this with Houston and Lou Williams and Cleveland and Kyle Korver. Both teams gave up a late first round pick for a solid scorer that can help production.
This is what we would see from this trade. Boston who needs another ball dominant scorer that could come off the bench for them and help the bench unit create points. He could hypothetically fill part of the scoring void left by Gordon Hayward going down in the first game of the season. The only question mark of it all is if Boston could see Tyreke fitting in a Brad Stevens scheme. If Evans had the opportunity, I feel like he could excel.
Tyreke Evans to Denver for Juan Hernangomez
I mentioned this on GBBLive last week and thought it was a good player for player swap. This possibility goes away from the late first rounder scheme and gets more creative. It would be taking a gamble on another player that was actually drafted in the middle of the first round.
Tyreke would be a good fit in Denver, as they are willing to take on a ball-dominant scorer. He would be reunited with his old Sacramento coach, Mike Malone and could excel in his system.
Juan Hernangomez would be a great investment on a young Grizzlies team. He doesn’t get much action on Denver, and Nikola Jokic will also be playing ahead of him. It would be a promising player instead of a question mark first round pick.
Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans to Washington for Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jodie Meeks, Tomas Satoransky and WAS 2020 1st round pick (top 6 protected)
This could be quite a haul to give up for Washington, but I think it could work in a Grizzlies complete rebuild. Washington has always been in need of a center. Gortat is serviceable, but will not be the talent they need to be put over the top. Gasol could give the Wizards what they need to jump to the 2 or 3 seed in the East each year.
The return for Memphis would be a lot of 2-year deals, but the most important is Kelly Oubre Jr. He has been fantastic this year. If the Grizzlies could get him and a first rounder by trading Marc and Tyreke, it may just be worth it.
Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans to Cleveland for Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and BKN 2018 1st round pick/CLE 2021 1st round pick (top 3 protected)
Now, of course, the prize is the Brooklyn pick, but it may be untouchable. So, for a discounted price, the 2021 CLE pick may be enough to approve the deal. This would be another complete rebuild option for the Grizzlies. Memphis would get some solid players for a few years left on their deals for a first rounder down the road.
One thing to remember with that possible pick- Lebron may be headed to L.A. this summer and then the Cavs will probably lose most of its core. Will Cleveland be a bottom of the barrel team come 2021? It may be a risk that pays off long-term for the Grizzlies. The front office may be able to get some second rounders thrown in there as well.
This is always a fun time for fans across the league. Teams could be changing for the better now or for the future. In the Grizzlies case, it looks to be for the future. Let’s just hope that Chris Wallace and the front office are on the same page.
Images from ESPN’s Trade Machine