The Memphis Grizzlies lost their season opener at home to the New Orleans Pelicans. It was an ugly game and one massive issue jumped off the stat sheet. Memphis gave up 11 offensive boards and lost the rebound battle by 15. The Pelicans have size inside, including former Grizzlie Jonas Valanciunas, but this could become the norm for Memphis after the season-ending injury to Steven Adams.
Santi Aldama missed the opener with an ankle injury. He will help on the glass, but not enough. In the 40 games Adams missed last season, the Grizzlies were 23-17 but outrebounded by 70 total boards. Their margin for error is slimmer with Ja Morant suspended to begin the season, and Memphis needs help on the glass if they are going to stay near the top of the loaded Western Conference.
Several big men were in trade rumors this summer, and the Grizzlies have all of their first-round picks to deal. With Adams gone for the season, now is the time to start trade discussions, and here are six deals Memphis might be able to pull off before the deadline.
6. Grizzlies convince Portland to part with Rob Will
The Trail Blazers entered a rebuild by trading Damian Lillard to the Bucks. They have turned it into a massive haul by flipping Jrue Holiday to the Celtics. In return, Portland got Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III along with draft capital. Both former Celtics could be traded before the deadline if the Blazers get a juicy offer.
Williams is coming off the bench behind Deandre Ayton, despite starting 81 of his last 96 games in Boston. Does the 26-year-old decide he wants out to play more on a contending squad? Here is a deal that likely gets him to Grind City.
Last season, Williams averaged 8.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in just 23.5 minutes per game. The 6’9 big man would instantly pair Jaren Jackson Jr. to give Memphis a scary backline featuring two players who can switch onto the perimeter and protect the rim. It would cost Memphis one first-round pick, which would likely be top-ten protected, but Robert Williams III could be just the piece the franchise needs.
He is far from the only big man available, and the Memphis Grizzlies might look for a cheap option to plug their hole in the middle.