Sam Amico of Amico Hoops and Mike Scotto of The Atlantic are both on record saying that sources are telling them that Memphis has engaged in feeling-out conversations regarding what the value of the expensive mistake that has been the Chandler Parsons contract and the #4 overall pick would be across the NBA.
This idea is not a new one. Multiple Grizzlies blogs/sites/#content generators have hypothesized that Memphis could possibly be interested in the trade market, such as me both here and here. There is no denying that the Parsons contract limits what the Grizzlies can do in free agency, whether it is keeping Tyreke Evans for more than the Mid Level Exception or adding other more functional pieces than Chandler to place alongside Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Moving on from that deal would provide immediate relief, and tagging that contract with #4 overall could very well mean a talented player coming to Memphis in return.
C.J. McCollum? DeMar DeRozan? Bradley Beal? Andrew Wiggins?
...OK, maybe not Andrew Wiggins, but even he has proven NBA playing ability and is only 23. These names may actually be possibilities for Memphis in any deal, and if the goal truly is to get back to the playoffs next season those names above are more likely to help accomplish that than Jaren Jackson Jr. or Marvin Bagley III.
However, to actually do this before Memphis is on the clock would be absurd. If Bagley, or heaven forbid Luka Doncic, falls to #4 and the Grizzlies aren’t there to possibly take advantage, that could be very bad for the Memphis front office. What if the insane occurs, and Sacramento takes Jackson or Michael Porter Jr. (health concerns may negate this) and then for some reason Atlanta wants Trae Young, who they had in for a private workout? What if both Doncic AND Bagley are there? It isn’t as far-fetched as we once thought, and a trade for that pick in that situation is much more valuable than it is sitting here days away from the draft in Brooklyn.
Even then, it is a tough sell to a fan base hungry for new blood and direction toward a future. Jackson or Porter (if healthy) would be decent consolation prizes if Doncic and Bagley are gone, and they could both be key cogs in a future Grizzlies team that doesn’t involve Gasol or Conley. To pass on a shot at control (in theory) for almost a decade of a franchise level talent for moving on from two years of a bad contract and the chance to be 1st or 2nd round fodder to Golden State or Houston feels short-sighted...
Because it is. Yet again, it has been said by both Grizzlies Majority Owner Robert Pera and General Manager Chris Wallace they expect a bounce back season. You want to maximize the last years of Gasol and Conley? Parsons and #4 for a much better current player would do that. The question is, SHOULD the Grizzlies do that?
With the draft now officially less than a week away, these talks will only get more and more insane and nerve-racking. Hopefully you’ll join us at FedExForum and then Rec Room in Memphis to ride the NBA Draft roller coaster together!