Wild trade proposal sends former first-round selected wing to Grizzlies

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 26: Xavier Tillman #2 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts after scoring during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on March 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 26: Xavier Tillman #2 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts after scoring during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on March 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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The Memphis Grizzlies may have already partaken in a splashy trade this summer with the blockbuster acquisition of Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics, but there are still those out there that believe GM Zach Kleiman should be searching for more deals to, in theory, better round-out the club’s talent pool.

Recently, Dalton Trigg of FanNation’s Dallas Basketball suggested the organization should consider setting its sights on adding more wing depth to Taylor Jenkins’ rotation, and proposed one particular deal with the Dallas Mavericks that he believes could be worth both parties’ while.

Proposed Grizzlies trade swaps Xavier Tillman for sharpshooting wing

While Trigg did note some challenges with such a transaction what with both clubs’ statuses as divisional rivals and the fact that the newly-acquired Josh Christopher is not eligible to be traded by the Grizzlies until September 6, he does believe that the move could prove to be beneficial in many ways, most specifically for Xavier Tillman.

"“Tillman is just 6-8, but he plays a lot bigger than that with his 7-2 wingspan, and his energy could serve Dallas well,” Trigg wrote.“Per 100 possessions, Tillman has averaged 17.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks through three NBA seasons. In 29 starts last season, Tillman averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 27.3 minutes per game. Those numbers make it seem like Tillman could be ready to break out in a new situation where he’d get more consistent playing time.”"

Trigg also suggests that a move to Dallas could be highly beneficial for Tillman’s development as he’s slated to be fighting for playing time within Memphis’ frontcourt along with “Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, David Roddy, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama and the up-and-coming Kenneth Lofton Jr.”

Considering “the latter four mentioned there are all still on their rookie deals,” the argument presented here is that it could help the Grizzlies’ financial and rotational flexibility by avoiding a commitment of giving “more money to him without being able to provide him with a bigger role.”

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As for the player the Grizzlies would be getting in return, though losing Tillman’s aggressiveness, defensive toughness, and overall on-court tenacity would undoubtedly be tough, Josh Green is a player who could come aboard and instantaneously fill in as the club’s starting small forward which, with the offseason departure of Dillon Brooks, is a major question mark within the starting lineup.

Measuring in at 6-foot-6 with a near-6-foot-10 wingspan, the former 18 overall selection from the 2020 NBA Draft has the build to serve as a modern-day three while his skill set certainly fits seamlessly into both what the position often requires and what Memphis currently needs.

Coming off a career-best campaign with the Mavericks, through 60 games played Green finished 2022-23 with averages of 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and just shy of a steal whilst predominantly coming off the bench and shot 53.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from deep.

Regarding an area where Memphis was wildly pedestrian in catch-and-shoot attempts, the wing boasted an effective field goal percentage of 62.3 on the year, which would have ranked second on the Grizzlies last season behind sniper Luke Kennard and his 86.1 percent clip (of those who played over 500 minutes).

At the moment, it does not appear the Grizzlies are looking to offload the likes of the recently-exercised Tillman, which is almost certainly joyous news to hear for Grind City faithful.

That said, should Kleiman and company feel they can get experimental considering the club’s sound collection of tweener-bigs and decide that they covet an outsourced talent to vie for the starting three slot, there’s an argument to be made that Trigg’s proposal could actually be an intriguing one for the club to consider pursuing this season.