Grade the trade: Memphis lands big man of the future in league-changing trade pitch

The Grizzlies have been looking for a new starting center, and this trade proposal would put them right back at the top of the Western Conference standings.
Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Would the Grizzlies make this trade?

From Memphis' side of things, this trade should be a no-brainer. None of the three players being moved are total game changers, even Luke Kennard and his all-world shooting ability. Those three guys saw increased numbers largely due to increased opportunity with all the Grizzlies' injuries this past season, and they are all relatively replaceable.

Giving away the first-round pick in 2025 is also a relatively small price to pay for the services of Claxton. A first-rounder is always a valuable asset in theory, but we have to remember that Memphis will easily have a top 10 record in the league when fully healthy. The odds of that pick having the value of a lottery pick is not great, and the Grizzlies should not have a problem betting on themselves and tossing the pick aside.

Thirdly, Nic Claxton would be a huge needle-mover for this team. Memphis always thrived on the interior when Steven Adams was roaming around the paint and gobbling up rebounds. Claxton would be able to play a similar role while also bringing a much higher degree of athleticism to the table as well.

Whether a trade like this is possible in real life will simply come down to how much the Nets end up asking for Claxton. Obviously, the financial restrictions would also be considerable here. But frankly, they may not matter very much if Claxton is able to be Memphis' missing piece. If the Grizz can get him with a package like this one, they should be all over it.