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Five Realistic Trades to Take the Grizzlies to the Next Level This Summer

Five trade targets and the deals that’ll bring a parade inside the city.
By Myke Horrell - June 4, 2024, 10:00 am - 0 comments

With the NBA season winding down and the trade machines cranking up ahead of the draft, I have decided to take the time and bring the people chapter two of the attainable trade target series that began at the deadline in February.

These are trades that have been curated to benefit the team while also being as realistic as possible and attainable. Each one of these deals will be as equally loved by some as is hated by others and I am prepared for my fellow internet GMs to tell me how great or awful they may be.

Let’s dive into some deals.

Southern 3-Team Splash

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Clint Capela, Garrison Matthews.

New Orleans Pelicans receive: Dejounte Murray and a 2026 unprotected second-round pick.

Atlanta Hawks receive: Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard, and Ziaire Williams.

The Memphis Grizzlies have no starting center, the New Orleans Pelicans are rumored to be shopping Brandon Ingram and have no true starting caliber point guard, and the Atlanta Hawks have two point guards with value in the league while not having a solid scoring option at small forward. Who loses?

Why they’d say yes:

Memphis: The Grizzlies get one-year rentals on a starting center with a history of rebounding and shot-blocking with Capela as well as a 44% three-point shooter off the bench in Garrison Matthews. Memphis would also move Luke Kennard’s expiring deal while replacing his shooting with a drastically cheaper (yet not AS effective) option in Matthews who would be cheaper to re-sign if retained. Ziaire Williams also gets new scenery and an opportunity to grow going into a contract year and Memphis gets flexibility while scouting who they want in the NBA Draft.

New Orleans: The Pelicans get their starting point guard in Dejounte Murray with four years left on his contract, allow Trey Murphy to grow into a bigger role at starting small forward, and add a much-needed second-round pick to their arsenal all while moving Brandon Ingram’s expiring contract.

Atlanta: The Hawks get three core pieces on expiring deals. Atlanta would get their starting small forward in Brandon Ingram alongside Trae Young and the #1 pick, Luke Kennard’s three-point shooting on the wing, and Ziaire Williams to toy around with going into a contract year.
If it works, Atlanta can bring them back. If it doesn’t, they can let them walk and enter a rebuild. This would give Atlanta wiggle room to work with moving forward whether they plan to contend or start fresh.

Why they’d say no:

Memphis: Going into a draft where Memphis is rumored to target a big they may not want to shell out assets on a rental. Capela is going into his eleventh year and if he decides to walk next summer it could put Memphis in an awkward spot. Memphis may search for a big with a lengthier contract for security and to develop a relationship with their rookie if they go big in June as well.

New Orleans: Brandon Ingram has a market and the Pelicans lack a big. With Valanciunas set to hit the market, New Orleans could easily look to package Ingram in a deal to acquire a higher-profile center and search for a cheaper solution at point guard.

Atlanta: It’s a gamble. Acquiring three rentals could either greatly benefit the Hawks or burn them next July. While it gives them the flexibility to plan around their future, it could also leave them dry if the assets they fall in love with go elsewhere during next year’s free agency period.

Grizzlies Swap Picks w/ Charlotte Securing Clingan

Memphis Grizzlies receive: 2024 First-Round Pick (#6)

Charlotte Hornets receive: 2024 First-Round Pick (#9), 2024 Second-Round Pick (#58), Ziaire Williams

The Grizzlies have been rumored to have eyes on Donovan Clingan but he may be just out of their reach and the Hornets target may stick around a few picks longer.

Why they’d say yes:

Memphis: Grizzlies would get the big that they want and free themselves, and Ziaire Williams, from their small-forward logjam while allowing him to find his footing on a young and growing team with no pressure.

Charlotte: Charlotte would maintain their position in the lottery and have access to plenty of young players to complement their core while only sliding down three picks. They would also gain the 58th pick and add an expiring Ziaire Williams to their roster to experiment with.

Why they’d say no:

Memphis: Memphis may play the waiting game, have to trade up even higher, or Donovan Clingan miraculously slides to the ninth pick.

Charlotte: The Hornets may have their eyes on a guy who they don’t believe slides past six.

Grizzlies Play Smart, Add Jarrett Allen

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Jarrett Allen, 2024 First-Round Pick (#20)

Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Marcus Smart, 2024 First-Round Pick (#9)

The Cavaliers can add championship pedigree at point while cutting ties amidst internal rumors.

Why they’d say yes:

Memphis: The Grizzlies would fill their center void with a walking double-double in Jarrett Allen while still having two years left on his contract. He also fits the age timeline of the current roster and could help the Grizzlies compete for years to come.

Cleveland: With rumors swirling around a possible Darius Garland trade the Cavaliers could snap Marcus Smart into the starting guard spot alongside Donovan Mitchell to supply facilitation, perimeter defense, and championship pedigree to a team looking to get over the hump. The Cavaliers would also move up 11 spots in the draft and could either add another young and strong piece or flip the pick for another asset.

Why they’d say no:

Memphis: Although Jarrett Allen has proven his ability to score down low and rebound, there are still question marks surrounding him. While being good in the paint on both sides of the floor, Allen is only 6’9, and combining that with lackluster performance in the playoffs, it could create a tough scenario in a Western Conference best-of-seven series with Memphis. The Grizzlies would also drop 11 spots on the draft board this summer costing them a chance at acquiring a young center they could have their eyes on.

Cleveland: Rumors are rumors. Just because (a lot) of reports are claiming animosity and turmoil in Cleveland doesn’t necessarily mean it’s exactly true. Even if it is true, it doesn’t mean that the Cavaliers are certain to move on from Allen or Garland. The Cavaliers could easily stay intact after re-signing Donovan Mitchell and be content with the 20th pick.

Grizzlies get Olynyk, Darko gets his guys

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Kelly Olynyk

Toronto Raptors receive: Santi Aldama, John Konchar, 2024 Second-Round Pick (#58)

Toronto Raptors head coach, and former Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach, Darko Rajaković is working with a rebuilding roster and spent a lot of time with the development of young Grizzlies and Kelly Olynyk deserves a win now situation.

Why they’d say yes:

Memphis: Kelly Olynyk can space the floor, score around the rim, shoot three balls, rebound when needed, and provide veteran experience off of the bench or start if/when he needs to. Santi Aldama looked to take a slight step backward for the Grizzlies this season and is also on an expiring contract and the emergence of G.G. Jackson II, Vince Williams Jr., and Jake Laravia will look to eat up the few minutes John Konchar had remaining. Also, what is a second-round pick to Memphis in a deal like this?

Toronto: Darko Rajaković gets Santi Aldama and John Konchar back under his wing, two guys he loved during his tenure in Memphis. Rajaković would have the opportunity to utilize Santi in a bigger role on a rebuilding Toronto team and maximize his potential as a stretch-four without the pressure of competing for a championship at the same time. A breath of fresh air for everyone involved.

Why they’d say no:

Memphis: Santi Aldama is going into a contract year with the potential to gain more value to the team or increase his value ahead of the 2025 NBA trade deadline and John Konchar has interest from select teams around the league and could be utilized in a separate deal.

Toronto: The Raptors may value Olynyk’s veteran leadership or may believe he possesses more value and could garner a better offer elsewhere in the league.

Nic Claxton and Ja Morant Reunite

Memphis Grizzlies receive: Nicolas Claxton

Brooklyn Nets receive: Luke Kennard, Ziaire Williams, 2024 First-Round Pick (#9)

The Brooklyn Nets are slowly inching towards a rebuild and who better at center than the guy your superstar point guard already loves?

(Disclaimer : Before overpay comments are uttered, keep in mind how big Claxton’s new contract is anticipated to be as well as the Memphis Grizzlies incoming depth into the 2024-25 season.)

Why they’d say yes:

Memphis: The Grizzlies need a center and who’d be better than Nic Claxton? 6’11, averages over two blocks a game, and nearly a double-double with points and boards last season with 11.8ppg and 9.9rpg. Clax also has a longstanding history with Ja Morant going back to childhood and would be an absolute monster in the pick-and-roll and alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. in the paint.

Brooklyn: The Nets have no picks and as of right now not much of a future either. Brooklyn can start ripping off the bandaid by gaining the ninth pick, Luke Kennard, and Ziaire Williams for Claxton instead of him leaving in free agency for nothing. Kennard and Williams are also expiring deals, which allows Brooklyn the choice of whether or not they keep them after the 2024-25 season and allows them to have cap space going into next summer’s market if they choose.

Why’d they say no:

Memphis: Zach Kleiman may genuinely want to utilize this year’s draft pick for a young center with no miles and a cheaper deal while holding on to Kennard and Williams for a deep post-season run. The idea of adding Claxton seems like a luxury but it would create a tight situation financially.

Brooklyn: The Nets are notorious for being tough negotiators, something the Grizzlies know too well. Nic Claxton has a market and many teams will probably be met with hold music while the Nets line burns up in the sweepstakes. Memphis may genuinely not have the best offer or the Nets price may just be way too high.


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