Grizzlies linked to 25-year-old center as sign-and-trade destination this summer

Feb 4, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins  looks on
Feb 4, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins looks on / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves on the outside looking in on participating in playoff basketball, a positive spin on their exclusion is that the front office can now get an early start on preparations for their offseason agenda.

Considering the fact that they finished off 2023-24 with the seventh-worst record in the entire association at 27-55, it goes without saying that the ball club could use for some fine-tuning, with easily the most noteworthy area in need of addressing being their center position.

Following the mid-season trades of both Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman, the Grizzlies currently roster no real dependable option to have roll out into their lineup as coach Taylor Jenkins' primary pivot.

These upcoming summer months present GM Zach Kleiman and company with an optimal opportunity to bolster their talent pool down at the five, and, be it through this June's NBA Draft or via signing players on the open market, they'll have many different avenues to go down to do just that.

Recently, however, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype went as far as to suggest Memphis could look to address their center position in quite a splashy fashion, as he noted that they are believed to be one of only a handful of teams capable of executing a sign-and-trade exchange for long-rumored center target, Nic Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets.

Grizzlies a possible sign-and-trade destination for Nic Claxton

"Two teams with the ability to make a sign-and-trade agreement potentially happen are the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans."

Michael Scotto

As noted, Claxton has been a name fans and media pundits have discussed as being a possible fit at the five for the Grizzlies, as there have been cryptic hints made both by him and even some of Memphis' own stars that would suggest a pursuit could be realistically in the cards.

Having just wrapped up his fifth season in the association, the big man found himself once again serving as a tough-nosed rim runner and protector for the Nets while posting impressive averages of 11.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks on 62.9 percent shooting along the way.

With his 6-foot-11 frame coinciding with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and proven on-court contributions, Claxton boasts the measurements and skill-set necessary to be seen as an ideal option to man the middle for Memphis, while his enviable age (25 years old) and established relationship with guys like superstar Ja Morant only strengthen the notion of such a possibility becoming a reality.

Of course, Scotto would continue on with his assessment of a sign-and-trade for the impending free agent by stating "I’m not sure yet how high the Grizzlies are on Claxton," so by no means is a pursuit viewed as imminent.

Nonetheless, should they view the defensive stalwart as a possible solution to their vacated pivot position, there are numerous reasons to believe this front office could make such an acquisition work.