Grade the Trade: Grizzlies double down on defense in new proposal for 26-year-old big

Portland Trail Blazers v Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Breaking down a potential trade

Not having enough defensive paint presences in a Western Conference that features a trove of prominent bigs is an easy-to-see concern that the Grizzlies will look to rectify in the offseason, and there will be several potential candidates to sift through.

Among candidates sitting in the offseason already waiting for a trade is Robert Williams III, who is currently signed on with the Portland Trail Blazers for the next two seasons. The 26-year-old will be coming off a shortened season after injuries derailed his first year with the team.

At the moment, a player such as Williams would have a relatively small trade market, as lack of recent results and a mid-level contract (owed roughly $26 million over the next two years) makes him less than ideal to most teams.

That said, the former All-Defensive Second-Team big could fill multiple roles with the team, including a potential starting spot as a center, or working with the bench unit as part of a frontcourt rotation.

Acquiring Williams from the Trail Blazers shouldn't be the most difficult of tasks to accomplish, as the Grizzlies have draft assets and a variety of young but promising players who could thrive in a new environment and role.

Grizzlies/Trailblazers RWIII trade

The trade scenario would move fourth-year player Ziaire Williams, who has shown flashes of potential and has a more reasonable contract with a team option left for his final year in 2024-25, to the Blazers in exchange for Robert Williams while swapping second-round draft picks.

Moving down five spots in the draft will entirely depend on Portland's draft plan. Whether they have specific preferences for the second round or not, the ability to move Williams's contract after a negligible impact would be a positive move for the rebuilding team.

In addition to his defensive prowess, Williams will be reunited with former Boston Celtics teammate Marcus Smart out in Grind City, which should ease the transition to a new team and help build a quicker level of dynamic defensive chemistry.