Grizz Lead

What Could Memphis Do This Trade Season?

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NBA trade season is among us, and many believe the Memphis Grizzlies will be active dealers over the next month or so. The Grizzlies are a young rebuilding team looking to gain assets for their future, and have a few assets of their own that appeal to multiple teams around the league. The team has a handful of proven wings in Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Both have been playing well this season, and hold a lot of value. As they approach 30 years old, both players would probably welcome a move to a contender. Andre Iguodala is also a hot commodity on the market, and the Grizzlies have been adamant that they will receive something in return for the former Finals MVP. The Grizzlies will most likely target younger players and draft picks with any trade they make.

The Grizzlies will likely explore all options for Crowder, Iguodala, and possibly Solomon Hill. All three are vets with one year left on their contracts, and all three have value somewhere in the league. While teams may offer for other players, most view those three as the most likely Grizzlies to be moved. Here are potential options for all three.

All trades tested via tradenba.com

Moving on from Iggy

When the Grizzlies acquired Andre Iguodala from the Warriors in the off-season, fans were excited to have him as a mentor to the young team. The 15-year veteran was a key piece of the recent Warriors dynasty, winning Finals MVP in 2015. Sadly, Iguodala made it clear immediately after the trade that he had no plans to suit up for the Grizzlies, and wanted to be bought out. Surprisingly, the Grizzlies’ front office declined to do so, and have remained determined to receive something in return for him. The most popular rumors first listed the Lakers, Clippers, and Mavericks as top suitors for Iguodala. Recently, however, almost all of those teams have been reported to be out on the veteran swingman. A new batch of teams have emerged as contenders that could be interested.

PROPOSED TRADE:

Miami Heat receive: Andre Iguodala

Memphis Grizzlies receive: James Johnson, Derrick Jones Jr., KZ Okpala

HEAT OUTLOOK:

The Miami Heat have been a surprise for some this season. With a 26-10 record, they’re currently third in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler provided the team with the top-tier option it needed. Most Improved candidate Bam Adebayo has shown improvements across the board.  Strong rookie campaigns from Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn have helped move the team into elite standing. Erik Spoelstra is an experienced coach and is getting the most out of each player. They’ve set their sights on a title, and acquiring Iguodala could provide them with the leadership needed to get there.

The Heat are a pretty young team. They only have three players above age 30, and only one of those players sees consistent minutes. Of players playing 20+ minutes for the Heat, only two have been in the league longer than seven years. Their young talent has proven effective in the regular season, but the playoffs are vastly different. This trade would allow the Heat to add a proven veteran with a lot of postseason experience, without losing any of their top players. The biggest loss would be Jones’ 22.7 minutes per game, but Iguodala and a healthy Justise Winslow could fill that void.

GRIZZLIES OUTLOOK:

The Grizzlies would acquire three players all at different points in their careers. James Johnson was a key piece for the Heat two seasons ago, but has fallen completely out of the rotation. He’s mostly added to match salaries, but could potentially be a helpful pickup for the team. At 32 years old, Johnson could serve as a veteran presence for the Grizzlies. Johnson has previously displayed great levels of versatility, which could serve the Grizzlies well. This would be Johnson’s second stop in Memphis– he played for the Grizzlies in 2013-14.

The other two players in this trade could turn into long-term players in Memphis. Okpala is a rookie with potential. In college, he spent time at both forward positions. He displayed good defensive abilities, with a budding offensive game. He’s best suited as a slasher, but showed promise as a catch-and-shoot option. He hasn’t been given many chances in the NBA so far, and a change of scenery would open things up for him. Jones is known for his high-flying dunks, but also brings a solid defensive presence to the court. He’s shown improvements each year so far. He still isn’t a great shooter, but his athleticism would be a good fit in Memphis’ new look offense.

Reunions all around?

The Grizzlies received Jae Crowder from Utah as part of the Mike Conley trade. He has served as a veteran presence on the young team, starting all 32 games so far. Crowder has had some good moments, including a game-winner earlier this year. He’s also served as a bit of an intimidator, constantly jawing at refs and opponents. He’s a gritty player, and provides some intangibles to a young team. However, Crowder’s numbers have been rather inconsistent, and a move to a contender may serve him well.

With only one year left on his deal, Crowder is a valuable asset that will be easy to move. He’s only making $7.8 million, which is a great value for contenders looking to solidify their roster. While he may not have the championship pedigree of Iguodala, he’s seven years younger, meaning he could play a role long-term for teams. Crowder is a proven role player, and could provide teams with a highly-coveted 3-and-D presence.

PROPOSED TRADE:

Dallas Mavericks receive: Jae Crowder

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Courtney Lee, Mavericks 2020 2nd round pick

MAVERICKS OUTLOOK:

The Mavericks are in the same position the Heat are. They’re a young, competitive team aiming for the Finals. They’re well-coached, and have two stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. While the Mavericks were rumored out on Iguodala, they may still have some interest in a Crowder reunion. Crowder spent his first two seasons in Dallas. He could bring his toughness to the Mavericks as they aim for another deep postseason run. The recent injury to Tim Hardaway Jr. only increases their need for a wing.

Coming into a more established system, Crowder could see his efficiency improve. He’s got a level of familiarity with the coaching staff, and would fit well into the team goals. He would serve as a quality drive-and-dish option for Doncic, and could help the Mavericks defensively as well.

GRIZZLIES OUTLOOK:

The Grizzlies wouldn’t acquire any young talent in this trade, but would get a great pick in return. The pick has the right to swap between the Golden State Warriors’ and Houston Rockets’ pick and choose the most favorable one. With the Warriors downfall, it is almost guaranteed to be a top second round pick in the upcoming draft. Second round picks are always risky, but have paid off in past drafts. The Grizzlies are in a good place to take the risk.

Lee would have a chance to see more consistent, albeit still limited, minutes in Memphis. His three-point prowess would prove valuable for the team. However, he would fill more of a mentor role than anything. This would be Lee’s second stint in Memphis. He spent three years on the team and was a part of multiple playoff appearances during his time there.

Solo to Sacramento

The third player most mentioned when discussing Grizzlies trades, Solomon Hill has revamped his value this season. Hill has been lights out from three, shooting 40% from beyond the arc. He’s also provided good energy, averaging four rebounds and a steal in roughly 20 minutes per game. In my opinion, he has the strongest chance to stay in Memphis of the players discussed. Should Memphis decide to move him, however, there should be a decent market for him.

Hill is on the last year of his current contract, and is on the books for only $12.7 million. That’s a fairly easy number to match, and a decent deal for a quality 3-and-D player. He could potentially be inserted into the previously discussed trades. Hill may be difficult to move to a contender, though.

PROPOSED TRADE:

Sacramento Kings receive: Solomon Hill, Marko Guduric

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Dewayne Dedmon, Kings 2020 1st round pick

KINGS OUTLOOK:

The Kings got off to a terrible start this year. After a very successful 2018-19 campaign, the team decided to part ways with Dave Joerger and hire Luke Walton. The team struggled to establish an identity in the early stages of the season. Injuries to starters De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley made the start even harder. However, the team has shown flashes of what can be in recent weeks. Now healthy, the team is looking to make a playoff push over the back half of the season.

The Kings signed Trevor Ariza during the offseason, hoping he could serve as a veteran 3-and-D wing. Their gamble has not paid off, as Ariza is playing some of the worst basketball of his career. By acquiring Hill and Guduric, the Kings could help replace Ariza’s minutes with quality players. Recently, it was announced that Dedmon wanted out of Sacramento. By moving him to Memphis, he gets a chance to play consistent second string minutes as a shooting big.

GRIZZLIES OUTLOOK:

At 30 years old, Dedmon doesn’t fit Memphis’ long-term plan, but could be valuable in the short-term as a mentor to their young bigs, particularly Jaren Jackson Jr. Dedmon emerged as a stretch big option in Atlanta, something that the Grizzlies could utilize well. He is also a solid rebounder, which would help the second-string. Dedmon could be viewed as a risk, though. If he desires to be moved to a contending team, he may not be interested in playing for Memphis.

Losing Hill is a risk as well, which is why the Grizzlies would want to snag the pick from the Kings. Hill is one of the Grizzlies’ best shooters, and has been playing very well for them. Guduric started off strong, but has fallen off hard recently. The Kings currently have the same record as the Grizzlies, but a different outlook. Their pick has a high value now, but they may feel it won’t be as valuable by draft night, opening the door for the Grizzlies to possibly secure a top pick.

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About Richmond Bailey Caldwell

Die-hard Grizzlies fan since 2009. Aspiring basketball writer and coach. University of Georgia sport management alum. Perennial first team all-defense selection.

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