Memphis Grizzlies
(Brandon Dill / Getty Images)

To Trade Or Not To Trade? That Is The Question For The Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2020-2021 NBA season. Ja Morant looks like a superstar in the making and led the Grizzlies to two wins in the play-in to make the 8th seed out West. That is incredible for a team whose core is mostly under 25 years old. But their playoff series against the Utah Jazz has shown the holes with the current system in place. Should the Grizzlies make a move this offseason or should they hold for now?

This may be one of my biggest blogs yet on this site. I’ll be looking at the reasons why the Grizz should and should not make any trades, as well as who would be on the block and potential targets. Strap in folks.

To Trade

There have been some stellar performances from some in this young core. De’Anthony Melton is an all-around stud who can do pretty much anything you need on the court, Xavier Tillman and Desmond Bane look like the steals of the 2020 NBA Draft, and every other player under the age of 25 has contributed in major ways to make the playoffs.

With such great performances, their value is at an all-time high. Packaging some of the young players more towards the end of the bench along with picks could be enough to lure a team that needs to get rid of a nice player. Even a small package could potentially land Memphis a solid and consistent role player.

Consistency is the key. While the value of some of these players is high, their consistency is defiantly in question. Melton did not regain his shooting touch for well over a month. Brandon Clarke, who I loved last season, seems to have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff and only played in one game through the play in and playoffs. The Justice Winslow experiment seems to have failed. Perhaps Memphis tries to pick up his option and use him to match money in a big trade? Or they could just let him go. Either is viable if the Grizzlies are done with Winslow.

Are Memphis fans 100% certain that this core as is will be enough? Great role players are obviously needed to contend, but more stars or better consistent players are needed to get a team over the hump. Kyle Anderson and Jonas Valanciunis both hit the market this season and are valuable pieces for the future. Money will be hard to come by if the Grizzlies resign them and eventually will have to pay for Jaren and Ja. Now could be the time to make a move.

Not To Trade

Patience is considered a virtue. The Grizzlies front office has done an amazing job building a talented roster over the course of just a few short years. The Marc Gasol trade saw Jonas Valancunius come in and become a centerpiece of the offense. Grayson Allen and a first-round pick came back to Memphis in the deal that sent Mike Conley to Utah. Allen isn’t a world-beater, but he has some great moments. A lot of key role players have been picked in the late first round or are second-round picks. The only free-agent signing in the rotation is Kyle Anderson. Think about that.

What helped the Grizzlies on their cinderella playoff run is sometimes an overlooked part of the game- chemistry. This was the second year of this core being together. Individual and team growth this past year helped in getting players comfortable in their roles and play great basketball. Every player is still hitting their stride and a third year of this rotation could be big.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While the time of Morant and Jaren is not infinite, there is still plenty of time to build through the draft or find the right free agent. The Grizzlies could follow the Bucks by drafting the core part of their roster and then going out and getting just one guy from outside the organization to finish a championship-winning roster.

Grizzlies fans should not be expecting championships soon. All players involved are still extremely young with tons of room to grow. Bringing in a big new talent could disrupt the flow of the team and potentially stint the growth of young talent.

Trade Possabilities

If the Grizzlies did decide to make a trade, there are a number of ways they could go. There is already a rumor circulating that Memphis might be able to move up in the draft by swapping picks with New Orleans and taking on Eric Bledsoe’s contract. I’d personally love that deal. If Bledsoe is a dud, he’s only guaranteed $4 million next season. Memphis could easily cut him to clear a spot and save cap going into that offseason. Not to mention the possibilities of landing an excellent player at 10.

Even if that trade does happen, Memphis could look to making other trades before the deadline. Bradley Beal’s situation in Washington seems to be getting worse and could demand a trade. Not saying the Grizzlies could land him, but that Memphis would be stupid to not at least inquire. They’d have to give up a lot. Multiple unprotected picks, pick swaps, and some young talent. Hell, could even throw in the Bledsoe contract (again if that trade goes down) to match the money.

I’ve always liked Zach LaVine and maybe the Memphis Grizzlies could make like thiefs and get him for not too much. He is an All-Star now, so his price might have risen a little than in past years. Beal and LaVine are honestly the only two names that come to mind for me when I mention a “huge” trade. Buddy Hield has been another but I feel he’s a little overpaid. I threw in some other names in a trade piece last season, but most of those names have sence elevated themselves to a status that I do not believe the Grizzlies can get them. In my defense of that piece, which I now see as not a great one, it was pre-bubble numbers for some players. Just keep that in mind.

My 2 Cents

I’m down the middle on this issue. The best thing for the Memphis Grizzlies right now is to focus on moving up in the draft and drafting well overall. BUT, it would be foolish to not attempted to grab a Beal or LaVine or any other All-Star caliber player (within reason mind you. No Westbrook) that might become available. Again, Grizzlies fans need to relax and remember how young this team is. There is plenty of time for growth, and growth will happen. Memphis fans and the Memphis Grizzlies need to remain patient but ready to pounce at the right opportunity. Build more, let discontent settle in for other All-Stars, then make your move. This is chess, not checkers.

Vendetta Sports Media is sponsored by Monkey Knife Fight, the fastest-growing DFS site in the industry. MKF’s unique style and gameplay make betting fun and easy. Use our promo code ‘VENDETTA’ or use the link below to get a 100% instant match on any deposit and let them know that we sent you!
Signup now!

Take a look at our shop!

Links to our TwitterYouTube, and our Twitch! Follow and Subscribe!