Grade the Trade: Grizzlies land star center, first-round pick in no-brainer trade idea

Memphis Grizzlies v New Orleans Pelicans
Memphis Grizzlies v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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Grading the Trade: Should the Grizzlies say yes?

From a skill-set perspective, there aren't many other realistic targets out there that fit the mold of what the Grizzlies should be looking for in their next starting center quite like Jarrett Allen.

Throughout his seven-year professional career, the big man has earned himself the moniker of NBA All-Star thanks to his exceptional rim-protecting, rim-running, and rebounding skills.

Since his first full season with the Cavaliers back in 2021, Allen has posted impressive two-way averages of 15.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting a highly efficient 64.9 percent from the floor and boasting a defensive rating of 108.

This past season, he put forth arguably his best efforts to date as a pro, as he wrapped up 2023-24 with 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks through 77 outings all while shooting a highly efficient 63.4 percent from the field and finished in the top-10 in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

On top of all this, Allen is still just 26 years old and is under contract through 2026, meaning that he fits the timeline of the rest of this Grizzlies core almost seamlessly.

Imagining him out on the fast-break with Morant and formulating a wall down low on defense alongside 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. should absolutely pique the interest of the Grizzlies and their faithful followers, and the idea of still remaining in the first round of this upcoming draft (would be exchanging their ninth overall pick for Cleveland's 20) makes this trade as close to a no-brainer as it can get.

Grade: A