Trade proposal sees Grizzlies swap first round pick for $37M stretch big

Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the
Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies are close to getting superstar Ja Morant back into the fold as he inches closer to the conclusion of his league-issued 25-game suspension, but, at 6-18, it's evident that this team needs more than just one extra player to get their season back on track.

While some may view the club as too far gone, being they're just eight wins out from Play-In Tournament contention should they make the proper adjustments there still seems to be a rather realistic chance that coach Taylor Jenkins' squad can turn their fortunes around in 2023-24.

Aside from the return of Morant, many believe that the best chance for the Grizzlies to achieve such a goal is for them to exchange some of their assets for an impactful player on the trade market and while the most popular route discussed amongst many fans is a pursuit of an established star, perhaps a more plausible course of action is for the front office to target ideal fitting role players.

As far as Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey is concerned, the Grizzlies should strongly consider one specific trade idea to acquire who he believes to be "one of the league's more productive playmaking and floor-spacing bigs" in Kelly Olynyk.

Grizzlies trade proposal swaps a first round pick for veteran Kelly Olynyk

Olynyk trade (B/R)

Citing their presumed desperation to claw their way back to relevancy in the Western Conference standings with Morant back in the mix, Bailey believes that though perhaps not the sexiest of moves adding Olynyk could be an effective way of adding some much-needed size and floor-spacing abilities to the Grizzlies' rather depleted frontcourt rotation.

"He's not the bruiser Steven Adams is, but he can approximate that better than Jaren Jackson Jr. has in Adams' injury-induced absence. More importantly, his presence in the roster would slide JJJ back over to his natural position at the 4 (Basketball Reference's position estimates have Jackson playing more minutes as a center than he ever has before). And just imagine Ja Morant, who's about to return from his 25-game suspension, working on a floor with Olynyk, Jackson, Desmond Bane and anyone else who's even a moderately dangerous shooter. Slashing lanes for Ja would be wide open.

Andy Bailey on Kelly Olynyk

Since entering the association as the 13 pick back in the 2013 draft, Olynyk has established himself as a highly reliable scoring option and a sound defensive commodity and, as pointed out by Bailey, has been on an absolute tear over the past two seasons, posting averages of 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from deep.

Though parting ways with both a first-rounder and sharpshooter Luke Kennard could be seen as incredibly tough to accept for some, considering the shooting guard has been plagued by injuries throughout this young season so far and is still sidelined with a lingering knee ailment adding Olynyk would be a way for the team to get similar production in the now while simultaneously better filling out the roster.

Add in the fact that he would serve as a menacing, big bodied presence down low with his daunting 6-foot-11, 240 pound frame as adding on the final year of the center's $37 million deal could be a worthwhile move to make for this still hungry Grizzlies team.