Grizzlies trade proposal swaps Jake LaRavia for $30 million wing

Nov 7, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jake LaRavia (3) shoots for three during the first half against the Boston Celtics at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jake LaRavia (3) shoots for three during the first half against the Boston Celtics at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

With just weeks separating now and the kick-off of training camp, the Memphis Grizzlies will hopefully soon inch their way closer to finding a solution to their up-in-the-air wing position.

Considering long-tenured starting small forward Dillon Brooks was shipped away from the franchise this summer via sign-and-trade to the Houston Rockets, Taylor Jenkins and company are currently left without a clear-cut replacement option at the lineup’s primary three spot.

Since Brooks’ departure, many have gone about and discussed possible courses of action the ball club could take to find a successor for the position, with the most likely solution simply being to promote from within.

However, clearly, the most flair-and-flavor-filled route would be to scour the trade market for an outsourced option. Should the Grizzlies opt for this method, there seems to be a bevy of names they should consider pursuing, and Austin DuBose of Air Alamo recently suggested that a “realistic” option could be San Antonio Spurs veteran, Reggie Bullock.

Grizzlies tabbed as a ‘realistic’ trade destination for Spurs wing Reggie Bullock

Citing their perimeter shooting struggles (ranked 23 last season in three-point percentage) coupled with the rather easy means it would take to execute such an exchange, DuBose is under the impression that the Grizzlies pursuing Bullock and the remaining $10.4 million of his $30 million deal should be viewed as a low-risk move that could end up benefiting them significantly.

"“Reggie Bullock would be a solid depth piece for them without sacrificing any significant pieces of their top-notch defense,” DuBose wrote. “Memphis could send the Spurs the trade exception they obtained from Dillion Brooks this offseason in a deal that revolves around a young gun like Jake LaRavia. Analysts considered the second-year forward a steal in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he has become buried in the rotation with no real hope of breaking out soon. The Grizzlies secure a veteran marksman while San Antonio bolsters their rebuild with another young prospect, and both teams benefit in the end.”"

Of course, perhaps the biggest drawback of this proposed exchange is that the Grizzlies would be parting ways with soon-to-be sophomore swingman Jake LaRavia.

While DuBose is correct when noting the 2022 first-rounder has struggled to carve out a consistent spot within Memphis’ rotation, his upside and potential still remain highly enticing to hold onto.

Revolving in and out of the G League throughout 2022-23, LaRavia wound up dropping 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals on 46.8 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from deep at the development stage and, during this year’s Summer League, posted very similar averages of 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 blocks.

Coming into season number two, the Grizzlies should be hoping to see their former 19 overall selection take that coveted next step forward, and these aforementioned flashes suggest he has the tools to make himself an intriguing contributor as an off-the-pine player.

Of course, should they desire to acquire a ready-made trusty talent at the wing position and wish to continue bringing on more veteran presences to their title-hopeful rotation, then the exchange DuBose has proposed seems to be a worthwhile option to ponder.

Already tabbed as a veteran worthy of an inquiry from GM Zach Kleiman, Bullock is an 11-year veteran who averages 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on 38.4 percent shooting from distance and has made an impressive career for himself thanks to his noteworthy 3&D skill set.

In truth, there are pluses and minuses no matter which way the front office would choose to go about this proposed transaction. That said, should the goal of the Grizzlies be to bring on an established player to help bolster the depth at their clearly weakened wing position, swapping LaRavia for Bullock may not be all that bad of a move to make.