The Memphis Grizzlies have made it clear that they're willing to serve as sellers ahead of this year's trade deadline what with their recent decision to offload the remaining year and a half of Steven Adams' contract by shipping it to the Houston Rockets.
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the move appears to be largely geared around the team's drive to create more salary flexibility and collect extra draft assets (landed three future second-round picks in the exchange) ahead of a 2024 offseason "where they'll get a chance at a high lottery pick and a chance to fortify a contender around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane."
Without question, Adams being offloaded is a tough pill to swallow for fans and players alike, but it's a reminder of the cut-throat reality of the business side of the NBA and, frankly, it could also be taken as a sign that more sell-offs could be to come as the deadline rapidly approaches.
Grizzlies players who could be traded following Steven Adams deal
With just days separating now and the official end to trade season on February 8, one should expect to see the Grizzlies attempt to make a few more shakeups to their rotation, and there are several names, in specific, that could find themselves on the chopping block after the surprise Adams deal.
4. Xavier Tillman
Regarding the hierarchy of trade value among Grizzlies players who could, in theory, be dealt ahead of this year's deadline, veteran Marcus Smart is clearly at the top of the list considering his playoff experience and stellar defensive intangibles.
However, recent reports indicate that the team isn't interested in trading him, which makes sense considering their plan is to be a championship contender next season once Ja Morant comes back.
Because of this, with the omission of the guard from the list, it would appear that forward Xavier Tillman would lay claim to the title of most valuable, non-untouchable commodity and, according to the rumor mill, there are plenty of teams that could vie for his services on the trade market.
If Memphis is looking for a sizable bang for their buck in a deal, the 25-year-old could be the most likely candidate to provide them with exactly that.
With his strength, particular skill set, and high-energy style of play, Tillman is a talent who can slot into either the four or five spot and can provide contenders with quality, two-way contributions.
Now in his fourth season in the association, the tweener big boasts well-rounded averages of 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks while registering a stellar defensive box plus-minus of +2.3.
Considering his rotational switch-ability, level of production, and highly affordable $1.9 million expiring deal, there are likely many teams that would be big on the idea of adding a guy like Tillman to their rotation, especially one in need of some extra firepower from their frontcourt reserves.