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Trade Rumor Roundup: Toronto, Detroit in play for Conley, Gasol

Things are getting hot and heavy.

Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the trade deadline now less than 48 hours away, the rumor mill is starting to spin faster and faster. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are the hottest names on the market not named Anthony Davis, and as things heat up more and more speculation will fuel the uncertainty facing the Grizzlies ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

Here are some of the latest reports-

Grizzlies talked Gasol/Conley for Kyle Lowry/Jonas Valanciunas swap.

Upon first reading this report, anger started to build. A Lowry/Valanciunas for Gasol/Conley exchange would scream “we don’t get the point of trading Marc and Mike!”, and would make the entire exercise pointless. Especially considering the fact that Conley and Valanciunas have actually been better/healthier this season than Lowry and Valanciunas. Unless multiple picks, or a young and talented player, came back, this would be a disaster.

The second report, however, bring about the opposite emotion - hope. If the Grizzlies are indeed this active, and are simply gauging value from other GMs (and other really good ones, like Masai Ujiri) on Marc and Mike, they are taking educated steps toward getting max returns for their two star players. Any communication between Memphis and other squads like this is long as this doesn’t progress beyond that in moves like this, then the effort is well worth it.

Detroit and Utah lead the way for Mike Conley

In a tweet that was deleted, Tony Jones of The Athletic stated that Reggie Jackson and an unprotected 2019 1st from Detroit was possible in a package with the Pistons for Conley. Detroit is currently 10th in the lottery. If that report is accurate, and you’re able to squeeze Luke Kennard or ANOTHER 1st from an apparently desperate Pistons squad, you do it. Now.

Like, seriously, now. Enjoy Detroit, Mike.

The Utah deal, which is on steroids above, appears to legitimately center around Ricky Rubio and Utah’s 1st this season for Mike. Addition pieces - another pick, Grayson Allen, etc. - probably would be included, but the current meat and potatoes of the trade is an expiring contract in Rubio and the 1st, which wouldn’t be as good for the Grizzlies.

If these reports are accurate, and Memphis is going to get to pick their return, it comes down to the following. Do they...

  1. Want a better pick but worse contract from Detroit, or...
  2. Want an expiring deal with a worse pick from Utah?

At this stage, option 1 is more enticing. Utah should be good for the foreseeable future, and while Detroit with Conley is certainly better than Detroit with Jackson, how much better remains to be seen. That’s a mighty big swing for the Pistons...if they miss the playoffs, and that pick winds up in the top-3 some how? The Grizzlies would hit the jackpot.

Ride with the better pick.

Gasol silence may be golden

Things have been a bit quieter around Marc Gasol, but those closest to the organization (like Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian) continue to say it is more likely than not that both players are shipped out of Memphis by the deadline. The Adande point is a great one - the Porzingis deal had been in the works for a while, but word of it broke very late in the process. Leaks occur for a reason - teams, or player representation, are looking for any leverage they can find. Conley appears to have a bidding war going on, so it makes sense for that info to come out to gauge opposition and also drive up the price if you’re the Grizzlies.

In the case of Marc, his market will likely be more controlled, and his suitors more limited. Memphis is probably emphasizing a Conley move first if both are going to happen so that can help determine what they would want from a Gasol deal. The return figures to be larger for Mike. It’s also possible any pick compensation from a Conley deal could make future 2nds easier to part with for the Grizzlies, which could sweeten the pot for Gasol if necessary. No news isn’t necessarily bad news...depending on how you view the possible departure of Mike and Marc.

Stick with’s about to get crazy.

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