'Last-minute' Grizzlies trade target would address need for a wing

Jan 2, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) passes as San
Jan 2, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) passes as San / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Considering they have a slew of core players sidelined due to injury and are currently a putrid 18-32 on the season, heading into Thursday's trade deadline no one should expect the Memphis Grizzlies to make any big moves.

Outside of possibly selling off some of their own players, the odds of GM Zach Kleiman making a splash prior to the cut-off seems to be rather unrealistic. However, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that, in the event that Memphis is open to serving as a buyer, there could be one "last-minute" target that could be well worth a pursuit.

When taking into account the state of the team's roster, even when at full strength one of, if not their weakest position is out at the wing, as they've been trying to find a viable replacement for Dillon Brooks since his sign-and-trade departure to the Houston Rockets this past summer.

In en effort to finally find a solution to this rotational quagmire, Favale suggested in a recent piece that taking a shot on San Antonio's Julian Champagnie could be worth the risk ahead of February 8.

Memphis Grizzlies urged to target Spurs wing, Julian Champagnie

"Modest frontcourt investments who pair nicely next to Jaren Jackson Jr. beyond this season should be the focus. Targets get bonus points if they can slide down to a true-wing spot.

Champagnie checks both boxes."

Dan Favale

A highly under-the-radar, 3-and-D talent, the sophomore finds himself amid his first full season with the Spurs after being claimed off waivers last February.

Per 100 possessions this season, Champagnie finds himself posting impressive averages of 17.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 38.1 percent from distance.

With his particular skill set, coupled with impressive measurements of 6-foot-7 along with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, the 22-year-old has the makings of developing into a solid two-way wing contributor in the association and, with a 2023-24 salary of just $3 million, he could easily be absorbed into Memphis' $7 million TPE acquired in the Brooks deal.

As Favale noted in his piece, considering where the Grizzlies are at the mid-way point in the season, they are "in prime flier territory," meaning taking a swing on a project like Champagnie could be a realistic endeavor for them at the deadline.

Though the B/R writer would suggest the Spurs may be weary of parting ways with someone of his ilk, being their wing position is already filled to the brim with higher-regarded wing talents such as Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, and Malaki Branham, perhaps a package of a couple of future seconds could be enough to entice the club to execute a deal.

At the very least, Champagnie is worth inquiring about over these next few days.