The Memphis Grizzlies may currently be playing some of their most inspiring basketball of the season, as they just wrapped up a three-game road trip going undefeated and have been winners in four of their last five outings, but being they're just 14-23 overall and recently lost Ja Morant for the remainder of the year many believe that it may now be best for the franchise to punt on 2023-24.
The road to recovery was always projected to be rather challenging even with a fully intact rotation in tow. However, with their superstar guard sidelined along with their slew of other key player absences that will now include veteran Marcus Smart for the next six weeks at a minimum, their likelihood for success has lessened astronomically.
Because of this, fans and media pundits alike seem to strongly believe that GM Zach Kleiman and company should now look to start selling off some of their less vital, non-long-term assets during this year's trade season to better prepare themselves for 2024-25 and beyond and, in a recent piece, Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus constructed a trade scenario that would see the Grizzlies do just that.
Trade idea has Grizzlies selling ahead of February's deadline
From the looks of the proposal, it's obvious that Pincus has the Grizzlies accepting a sellers mentality during this year's trade season, as they are seen shipping off some of their most coveted and valuable player assets in the form of Smart and Luke Kennard.
While it appears that Memphis is shelling out quite a lot in this proposal, in exchange they are also found receiving three rather lavish luxuries: Cap space, another first-round pick to add to their collection, and a possible solution to their starting small forward predicament with 2019 lottery pick Rui Hachimura.
"Hachimura is a big forward who stood out against the Grizzlies in the playoffs (teams tend to chase the players who burn them). Vincent is similar to Smart (at half the price)—a defensive-minded guard with NBA Finals experience. Yes, he's recovering from knee surgery, but as Memphis focuses more on the lottery than winning, Vincent will get additional time to recover well before next season.- Eric Pincus
The Grizzlies invested heavily in their roster, but injuries have derailed one of the surprise success stories of a year ago. Financially, the team still has moves to make if avoiding the tax entirely is the priority. Still, the additions of Hachimura and Vincent (plus Hayes, who has a player option at $2.5 million for next season) give the team an interesting, less expensive look in 2024-25."
The biggest draw from a player perspective in this deal is easily Hachimura, who could be viewed as a reliable starting three for the Grizzlies moving forward.
Currently in his fifth season, the 25-year-old finds himself sporting solid per-game averages of 11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from distance.
Adding him, along with even more future draft capital and several TPEs in exchange for a boatload of salary in the form of players who have been on the fence of being parted with for some time now seems like a sound turnout for this hopefully competitive team come next season and beyond.