1. A deal with the Portland Trail Blazers
Since the Steven Adams news broke, Robert Williams III has been tabbed as an ideal replacement option for the Grizzlies to pursue in a trade.
After spending the first five years of his career dominating the paint for the Boston Celtics, this summer he was surprisingly traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Jrue Holiday blockbuster.
Though it’s undeniable that Williams possesses tremendous upside as a frontcourt talent, considering the fact the Blazers also attained a higher-status big in Deandre Ayton this offseason coupled with their presumed desires of tanking during their post-Damian Lillard era, a popular belief is that the 26-year-old could be a realistic outbound trade asset for the team.
Should this actually be the case, fans and media pundits alike have been quite vocal about their desires to see Memphis pursuing the pivot, and Klien seems to also be of this same mentality.
"“Williams is one of the league’s truly unbelievable athletes. Next to Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren, he’s one of the best in the business at blocking 3-point attempts. Those are the nutty plays one should expect. Williams moves his feet well on the perimeter and he can touch the clouds with his leaping ability. He averaged 2.2 blocks in 29.6 minutes during his All-Defense season,” Klein wrote. “The combined athleticism, mobility, and rim erasure between Williams and Jackson would be fearsome. He doesn’t fully address the rebounding and physicality concerns, but Williams and Jackson would eliminate so many scoring avenues and passing lanes as to make it very much worth Memphis’ efforts.”"
As Klein suggested, Williams is one of the premier centers currently in the game today, and has sported averages of 8.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game over the last three years on an insanely efficient 73.4 percent shooting from the field all while registering a 103 defensive rating, a block percentage of 7.4, and an offensive rebound percentage of 14.0 for his career.
While coughing up the fan-favorite Brandon Clarke may be a tough pill for some to swallow, the Grizzlies currently find themselves in a win-now mode and, considering he’s likely to be out for this entire season along with Adams, in the end, making such a deal could be well worth the heartbreak.