Grizzlies analyst dishes on possible replacement for Marcus Smart if traded

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Recently, rumors have been running rampant regarding a possible trade scenario that would send Memphis Grizzlies veteran Marcus Smart outbound.

Initially deemed by analyst Joe Mullinax from the Locked on Grizzlies podcast as the "most likely" member of Taylor Jenkins' rotation to be dealt this summer due to "roster fit [and] value in trade," since this claim was made fans and pundits alike have seemingly come out of the woodworks and dropped their two cents in on the matter, with many going as far as to discuss possible trade scenarios involving the 30-year-old.

Though the Grizzlies have yet to reveal any semblance of an indication that they are interested in pursuing such a move this offseason, Mullinax is already planning ahead in the hypothetical scenario that they do offload Smart and, recently revealed who he believes should serve as the guard's replacement within the starting rotation.

Grizzlies urged to replace Marcus Smart with Vince Williams Jr. if traded

Citing his ability to play on both ends of the ball and his flashes of running an offense, Mullinax feels that Vince Williams Jr. should be looked to as the guy to replace Smart in the starting five over the likes of a GG Jackson, for instance, if a trade were to ever be executed.

"We have seen Vince Williams Jr. facilitate time and time and time again. He is more than capable of being that guy. He has even run the offense, you could argue, at times better than Marcus Smart. I think I would also give the edge in terms of defense, but that gap is not as sizable as the facilitation one is for me. "

Joe Mullinax

The 47 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, due, in large, to wide-spread injuries throughout the rotation Williams managed to come across meaningful minutes during his sophomore campaign with the Grizzlies in 2023-24 and, with such opportunities, easily made the most of things.

Though he spent the first month of action revolving in and out of the G League, as he was initially attached to a two-way contract, by the time mid-December hit he had earned himself a regular slot within coach Jenkins' starting rotation and, in such a role, would only impress.

Through 38 games as a starter, Williams established himself as a legitimate two-way rising star in the association, as he posted solid averages of 11.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from distance.

As a result of his productivity, the 23-year-old managed to have his financial pact with the Grizzlies turn into a full-scale, multi-year deal at a worth of $9.1 million over four seasons and, simultaneously, established himself as a borderline untouchable on their depth chart.

Now, with rumors swirling that Memphis could theoretically look to offload Smart this summer, in the event that such a happening goes down, Mullinax believes replacing him with the young stud in Williams is the most logical course of action.