Grizzlies could engage in NBA Draft Night trade talks with direct rival, per reports

A direct divisional rival has shown "interest" in pursuing an NBA Draft Night trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.
San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

According to recent rumblings, the Memphis Grizzlies could be quite busy, at least in regard to trade negotiations, during the 2024 NBA Draft.

Per Kelly Iko of The Athletic, "Rival teams continue to believe the Rockets have an interest in Memphis’ Marcus Smart in potential trade-down instances" ahead of Wednesday's festivities.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype would go on to elaborate on Houston's level of interest in the Grizzlies veteran during a June 26 report of his own, noting: "Houston is continuing to seek upgrades to help the team improve now, and Rockets coach Ime Udoka remains a fan of his former Celtics player, Marcus Smart, on the Grizzlies, league sources told HoopsHype. Amid trade conversations around the league, the Rockets continue to dangle the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and future draft pick compensation."

Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart drawing trade interest ahead of NBA Draft

When it comes to trade chatter relating to both the Rockets and Grizzlies, this is far from new news.

Last offseason, the two franchises partook in a sign-and-trade exchange that saw former Memphis wing Dillon Brooks head Space City bound and, mid-way through this past campaign, they found themselves agreeing to terms on a deal involving veteran big, Steven Adams.

Even just a few weeks ago, it was reported by The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor that the two clubs were once again involved in trade negotiations, with O'Connor revealing it to be concerning their number three pick.

Being the Rockets are widely believed to be in a win-now mode heading into the offseason, it should come as no surprise that they're eyeing a guy like Smart as a possible trade target.

With his elite defensive chops, veteran leadership, all-around versatility, and extensive postseason experience, the 30-year-old is the brand of baller that title-hungry teams generally covet -- this is why the Grizzlies went out and acquired his services last offseason.

Add on the fact that Smart and Rockets head coach Ime Udoka have an established relationship with one another (Udoka served as head coach of the Boston Celtics with Smart running point during their 2021 NBA Finals run), and Houston's interest in attaining him becomes all the more clear.

Of course, despite these recent reports, all the noise that's been coming out of Memphis' camp thus far into the offseason indicates that they have no interest in moving on from their $76.4 million guard and, instead, wish to see the experiment with him sharing the backcourt with guys like Ja Morant and Desmond Bane play out.