The trade deadline is now only a month away, so, naturally, dropper of NBA Twitter bombs Adrian Wojnarowski released a trade deadline primer. The piece goes into details on which teams might be buyers and sellers, as well as what players (or positions) might be on the move.
While Marc Gasol is still (currently) considered to be untouchable, Tyreke Evans is squarely on the trading block, as Woj mentions:
Memphis wants to find a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans, but that is likely to prove difficult. The Grizzlies have missed in several drafts on first-rounders, including the waiving of 2015 No. 17 pick Wade Baldwin, and need to replenish their stock of picks. As a rental on an expiring deal, it is hard to imagine Evans delivering that kind of a return.
The fact that the Grizzlies are trying to trade Evans should not come as a surprise to Grizzly fans. Evans is on an expiring deal, and the Grizzlies will likely not be able to afford him next season. In what is almost certain to be a lost season, the only way to get value out of Evans is to trade him.
The more important tidbit is the last bit. While Keith Smith of Celtics Blog included the Celtics’ first round pick for Evans in the GBB roundtable on Friday, it seems Woj is less optimistic that the Grizzlies will get that sort of return in a deal.
While that fact is concerning enough in and of itself, it’s also worrisome that this reality might also impact the Memphis front office’s decision. If Reke isn’t able to fetch a first, there’s a possibility they could punt on making any deal and risk losing Evans for nothing, a far worse outcome than receiving poor return.
Hopefully Woj’s guess is wrong and teams are willing to part with a first rounder for a rental. But if that isn’t the case, Grizzlies fans can only hope that Chris Wallace and the front office make the right long-term decision and are willing to part with Tyreke for a little bit less.