3 notable center trade targets Grizzlies have been linked to

Jan 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) gets the rebound
Jan 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) gets the rebound / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Jonas Valanciunas

Reunions are always an entertaining concept to discuss and, recently, the idea of the Grizzlies bringing back former franchise big Jonas Valanciunas was brought up by The Athletic's John Hollinger.

"I could see the Grizzlies in a situation next year where they use their full nontaxpayer MLE on a center who will start games but not necessarily finish them, allowing Jaren to roam a bit more on defense as he did in his DPOY year in 2022-23, and likely saving him some fouls too.

You know who is a free agent this summer? Our old friend Jonas Valančiūnas, who keeps getting squeezed out of the mix in New Orleans because his game doesn’t fit well with Zion Williamson. "

John Hollinger

Before Grind City fell in love for Steven Adams, there was Valanciunas, a player who sports a very similar set of skills to that of the beloved and, unfortunately, now departed Kiwi.

A board gobbler extraordinaire and an overall menacing presence down in the paint with his 6-foot-11, 256 pound frame, the veteran finds himself coming off a solid 2023-24 campaign with the New Orleans Pelicans where he wrapped up with averages of 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 55.9 percent from the floor.

His ability to pull down second-chance opportunities while also spacing the floor on the offensive end (nearly a 35 percent career three-point shooter) coupled with his familiarity with coach Taylor Jenkins' scheme (player in Memphis from 2019-2021) has some believing he could be an ideal option for this team to slot in at starting center for 2024-25.

Of course, some such as Grizzlies beat writer Damichael Cole aren't all that into the idea, noting that "he's not a championship piece" and stressing fans to "not forget why Jonas Valanciunas was traded from Memphis in the first place," so the idea of a reunion with Valanciunas is far from a widely accepted hypothetical.