With Sunday’s news revealing that Steven Adams will miss the upcoming 2023-24 campaign as he undergoes surgery to repair the right posterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Memphis Grizzlies fans are left to wonder what the franchise plans to do when it comes to finding a replacement option for his services.
As was made evident during his absence for the final 36 games of last year’s regular season and during their playoff run, Taylor Jenkins’ club has struggled mightily without their primary pivot in the lineup.
From his offensive rebounding skills to simply his intimidating 6-foot-11 presence, Adams has proven himself to be a staple within Memphis’ rotation throughout his tenure and has provided the team with vital on-court attributes that have helped pave the way to ample success.
Now, with October 25’s season tip-off rapidly approaching, the Grizzlies are left with yet another vital vacancy within their starting lineup that’s in need of filling and Bluff City Media’s Joe Mullinax believes he knows a way to fill this particular void down low.
Trade proposal sees Grizzlies land Robert Williams III from Trail Blazers
During a recent episode of Locked on Grizzlies, Mullinax discussed possible trade routes the Grizzlies could embark on to find a suitable substitute for Adams down at the starting five heading into this season, and proposed a trade package for Portland Trail Blazers big Robert Williams III that he believes to be rather “realistic.”
"“I think Timelord, Robert Williams III, there in Portland who’s probably much more realistic…I think that that would be another option in terms of addressing this and being done with it,” Mullinax said. “One of the reasons Portland would be more realistic, at least in my opinion, is they’re trying to be bad. So if you want to tag Brandon Clarke or Steven Adams and a first-round pick and give it to Portland I think they say yes.”"
Mullinax would continue on to suggest that adding Brandon Clarke to the deal rather than Adams could prove to be the more beneficial move in the long term for the Grizzlies considering he’s “so terrified that his explosivity is not going to return” after rehabbing from his Achilles tear, meanwhile, “Adams can come back and still be elite at being big in 12 months.”
As for who the Grizzlies would be getting back in the exchange, Williams could easily be the ideal replacement for this team to have running alongside stars Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and, once he returns from suspension, Ja Morant.
One of the premier centers currently in the game today, the 26-year-old finds himself sporting averages of 8.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game over the last three years all while shooting at an insanely efficient 73.2 percent from the field for his career.
Though perhaps best known for his stupendous athleticism and tremendous defensive abilities (boats a career 103 defensive rating and a block percentage of 7.4), Williams is also a ferocious rebounder on both ends of the floor, as he pulls down 16.6 boards per 100 possessions for his career and holds an offensive rebound percentage of 14.0, just .8 fewer than the best in the game in Adams himself.
All of these aforementioned attributes would be a blessing for this Grizzlies team to possess down low now that Adams will be shelved for the foreseeable future.
Currently in limbo after being traded from the Boston Celtics to the tanking Trail Blazers this summer as part of the surprise Jrue Holiday blockbuster, rerouting the in-his-prime Williams to the Grizzlies could prove to be a beneficial move for literally all parties involved.
Mullinax’s proposal could be the perfect way to make such a hypothetical become a reality.