You may or may not have known this...but the NBA Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching.
Three weeks from this Thursday teams will be furiously working their phones, trying to gauge interest in bad contracts and supposed “assets”. Some fringe playoff teams will try to improve their odds, and then some teams will try to get as many young pieces and draft picks as possible as they sell their present in the hopes of a brighter future.
Or, nothing will happen. This thing is a crap shoot.
What will the Memphis Grizzlies do? We here at GBB take part in SB Nation NBA’s theme day and try to break that down.
With the trade deadline approaching do you consider your team to be a “buyer” or a “seller”
Seller. Super seller. Ultra seller. Is there something higher than ultra? If so, the Grizzlies will try to be it. The key word is “try”, because there may not be any takers for what Memphis will be willing to part with and at the price the Grizzlies will (should?) be asking. The best news is there isn’t any real incentive for Memphis to be over-aggressive in their selling process. They are bad with Tyreke Evans having a career year, they are bad with a healthy Marc Gasol. Even Mike Conley’s return cannot save this team from the lottery at this point.
So, should Memphis be selling during a time of the year they are used to trying to buy? Absolutely. But with their 1st round and 2nd round picks in tow for this season, they do not have to be desperate. They have as much leverage as a team in their position can have.
What are the top tradeable assets on your team’s roster and/or what players are “untradeable”?
Tyreke Evans is the name that will surface the most for the Grizzlies the next few weeks, and he should not be a Grizzly any longer by the time the deadline passes. Memphis will not be able to afford to keep him, and Evans has earned a larger contract with his play this season, even in a market that figures to be slower due to the league-wide overspending of the past two summers. While the Grizzlies shouldn’t ship him out for peanuts (a random 2nd rounder, for example), if a team like Boston offers their sure to be late 1st round pick and a young player Memphis should say yes.
But Tyreke shouldn’t be the only player on the table. Any Grizzly veteran on a expiring deal (cough Mario Chalmers, Brendan Wright, James Ennis III) is more than fair game and should be able to get the Grizzlies a 2nd rounder or two between them. The rumors about Ben McLemore being on the market also aren’t overly surprising, considering his contract is a giant dumpster fire right now. It is hard to see Memphis moving him, though, especially considering the Grizzlies would probably need to give up a 2nd rounder or 2 to make it worth a team with cap space’s while.
Untouchable wise? It should be no one. But if we take the Memphis front office at their word, players like Marc Gasol won’t be shipped out. Chandler Parsons and Mike Conley also are likely not on the market. Among the young players Dillon Brooks and Deyonta Davis feel most likely to not be filler in a larger deal, but again, no one on this roster is so good that if the right offer comes along it shouldn’t be considered.
What holes do you think your team would try and fill at the deadline?
They will try to get younger, and try to replenish their vacant draft pick cupboard. They’re already pretty young compared to where they were just a season or two ago with an average age of 26.3. Still, a team on the precipice of a full-blown rebuild like Memphis needs as many assets as possible. A young wing would make the most sense, considering Chandler Parsons appears to be a big bust due to health.
More than that specific position, though, is just an emphasis on youth, athleticism, and overall picks. 2nd are OK, but 1sts would be great.
What’s your “dream trade”?
There are various definitions of “dream trade” for me. For example-
DAYDREAM- Brandan Wright and future 2nd round pick to Indiana for Glenn Robinson III
DEEP SLEEP- James Ennis III and two future 2nd round picks to Miami for Justise Winslow
Then, there is the grand enchilada. The coup de grace. The “hell yeah Joe, you just rode a dinosaur with The Rock and saved the world by throwing a football through a basketball hoop held up by Justin Timberlake then you all went and had a few drinks and high fived”.
It isn’t enough to get a 1st rounder for Tyreke. It isn’t enough to get a young player for Tyreke, or to get off of Ben McLemore’s deal.
I WANT IT ALL.
“THE DREAM”- Tyreke Evans, Ben McLemore and two 2nd round picks to Boston for Marcus Smart, Aron Baynes and the 2019 Grizzlies first round pick.
It’s just about perfect. It covers all the bases. You get a young player you can build with (Smart) and an expiring contract (Baynes). You get rid of the McLemore contract, which is infuriatingly bad considering Ben makes more than Tyreke. But most of all...you get it back.
You get IT back!
YOU GET IT BACK!
You right a wrong, and redeem a sin. The pick that was sent out for “the answer” Jeff Green comes home, and now you have a future that is more clear. If you remain bad, you get ANOTHER sure lottery pick in 2019. If you improve, you have more flexibility for potential deals or for building up your roster with another young piece.
This trade will never happen. But you did say “dream”.
So what does Memphis need to focus on in any trade?
- Moving off of veteran expiring contracts (Evans/Wright/Chalmers/Ennis) for varying levels of picks, or a young talent.
- Getting off of bad money (Ben McLemore, maybe JaMychal Green)
- Not compromising on value. No need to move for the sake of moving.
Tyreke Evans for Justise Winslow? Maybe. James Ennis III and Mario Chalmers for Stanley Johnson? Perhaps. There are varying levels of potential deals, all the way up to the rumored/speculated Gasol to Cleveland for varying players and the 2018 Nets first round pick. But Occam’s razor tells us that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. The simplest result here is Memphis standing pat, and that is still most likely at this stage.
But for the first time in a long time, it is the Grizzlies fielding offers as the seller. That, in and of itself, makes this trade deadline that much more interesting.