Grade the Trade: Grizzlies swap 2024 first-round pick for recent lottery selected big

Memphis Grizzlies v Cleveland Cavaliers
Memphis Grizzlies v Cleveland Cavaliers / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Grading the Trade: Should the Grizzlies say yes?

With the likes of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marcus Smart all slated to return to full strength, many are already tabbing the Grizzlies as a title threat for 2024-25.

However, at the moment, they still find themselves without any semblance of an answer to their vacated center position, and, considering they boast the seventh-highest payroll heading into next season, it's not like they'll have much spending flexibility to add on any true difference-maker bigs via free agency.

Though the simplest solution may be to just hold onto the number one selection and try to find an answer at the five in, say, an Alex Sarr -- which, frankly, wouldn't be a bad move by any means --, Buckley's proposal is one that would need to be strongly considered by Memphis, for not only would they be adding a player with NBA experience but, also, would be nabbing another lottery pick in the process.

With the previously mentioned cast of characters returning, realistically, all the Grizzlies really need added to their starting lineup is a player who can snatch down boards, set screens, defend the paint, and finish at the rim. In other words, a player of Duren's caliber.

Pairing him with a guy like trip down in the frontcourt would create a menacing wall for opponents to face on the less glamorous side of the ball, while his athleticism and quickness running with the breakaway speed of Morant could spark some sensational fast breaks for this team that finished dead last in points coming in this fashion.

Add on the fact that not only would they be getting a recent lottery pick in Duren, but also would still hold a selection in this year's lottery with the one received from the Pistons (with which Buckley suggests the Grizzlies could then "double-down" and still pick someone like Donovan Clingan) and, unless they're totally set on a talent like Sarr, this proposal is as close to a no-brainer as it gets.

Grade: A