With the direction of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise in flux, we are unsure of what tonight’s NBA draft will hold. The Toronto Raptors have reached out to the Grizzlies about acquiring their 22nd pick and Tayshaun Prince in exchange for John Salmons and the 37th pick. This would allow Memphis to shed Prince’s large contract and receive a player who is only guaranteed $1 million this upcoming year. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein:
The move appeals to Toronto, sources say, because it would give the Raptors two picks in the presumed range needed to draft Canadian guard Tyler Ennis from Syracuse. The Raptors already possess the No. 20 pick and, according to sources, covet both Ennis and Swiss power forward Clint Capela, who some scouts liken to Serge Ibaka and is said to have caught the eye of Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri.
For the Grizzlies, sources say, shedding Prince’s contract — he’s owed $7.7 million next season — is a draft-night priority. But the likelihood is that it’ll cost Memphis its No. 22 pick to do so.
There are certainly other ways that the Grizzlies could dump Tayshaun’s contract and this might not be the best option. Presumably Memphis is looking to stay in contention this year and improve on an already strong roster. This deal only seems to benefit the Grizzlies by dumping Prince’s contract, so if this trade goes through you can look for them to make a strong push at a big name free agent.