NBA insider Shams Charania indicated that when trade talks start heating up, the Memphis Grizzlies could be a key player when it comes to acquiring a star player.
Charania noted how the Grizzlies can use their wealth of future draft capital and the expiring contract of a veteran player in trade talks.
“They can really go get a star player out there in the marketplace…”@ShamsCharania on the Memphis Grizzlies flexibility on #RunItBack…
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“The Grizzlies, the good thing about them is they have all their flexibility moving forward,” Charania said. “They have their young guys, but I think when you look at Danny Green’s contract. He’s making around $10 million a year. They have five first-round picks to play with, and those are the first round picks they put on the table in any deal for Kevin Durant when they inquired on him in the summer.
“Obviously, they weren’t willing to put in Jaren Jackson, Desmond Bane from what I was told. So it was really a nonstarter, didn’t go anywhere, but the fact that they have all their picks, they have Danny Green, they can really go get a star player out there in the marketplace. So whenever that guy becomes available, the question is gonna be internally, do they want to continue to do it in-house, homegrown talent, or do you want to go out and use your assets and go get another star. That’s the decision that the Grizzlies organization is going to have to make here at some point soon.”
Right now, the Grizzlies are currently tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the second-best record in the Western Conference at 23-13. Both teams are just one game behind the Denver Nuggets.
Besides Jackson and Bane, the Grizzlies also have guard Ja Morant, who other teams would love to acquire. However, the idea that the team would think about dealing away one of the league’s top young guards is inconceivable.
As noted, the possibility of Green being sent elsewhere makes much more sense. The 35-year-old Green is in the final year of a two-year, $20 million contract and would likely be enticing to a team looking to shed salary after this season.
Exactly who the Grizzlies might be looking at is uncertain.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 9, which gives the Grizzlies a little over five weeks to make inquiries about players of interest. There’s certainly no guarantee that a deal or even multiple transactions might take place.
However, with the Grizzlies already a strong contender to make a deep playoff run, the team’s front office figures to make a concerted effort to get something done.
Last season, the Grizzlies took a major step forward by winning 56 games during the regular season. They ultimately reached the Western Conference semifinals before losing in six games to the Golden State Warriors.
The Grizzlies are slightly off last year’s pace right now. At their current winning percentage, they would finish with around 52 wins at the end of the regular season.
Yet, the success the Grizzlies have enjoyed this season has them zeroing in on making a bigger dent when the postseason begins. What their roster looks like by then currently remains a mystery,