Despite their lowly overall record and slew of key player absences, the Memphis Grizzlies still find themselves with a fighter's chance of making a run for their fourth-consecutive playoff berth.
Because of this, as the campaign inches its way toward the February 8 trade deadline, many are conflicted over what GM Zach Kleiman's plan should be as far as deciding whether to serve as sellers and prepare for next year or as buyers and look to build during the final months of this season.
Recently, Grizzlies beat reporter Damichael Cole shared his thoughts on the matter during a January 17 episode of the Locked on Grizzlies podcast and suggested a particular trade scenario that could fit the mold for both of these aforementioned routes.
New Grizzlies trade idea swaps Steven Adams for Clint Capela
While talking about hypothetical courses of action that the Grizzlies could take in the trade department this year, Cole broached the idea of the team serving as a third-party option to bring on undesired players/ contracts and, in specific, discussed the concept of getting involved in a theoretical deal with the Atlanta Hawks in pursuit of estranged pivot, Clint Capela.
"Steven Adams will be coming back next season on the final year of his deal, for example. We expect him to be healthy. Remember, this surgery is supposed to be the one that cleans everything up and puts all the knee issues in the rearview mirror. What if the Grizzlies say: 'It's the last year of his deal, he's coming off a big surgery. Lets throw him into that deal [and] go with a more sure-fire option in Clint Capela and acquire him.' [You] get him for the last few months of this season and go into next season with him potentially as your starting center around that group. "- Damichael Cole
Cole would go on to state that he believes the Grizzlies should approach this trade deadline "thinking about the next season and the future of this Grizzlies team," which, while a trade for Capela could certainly qualify as such a move, it could also serve as a way to help strengthen Taylor Jenkins' rotation in 2023-24 as well.
Even before the devastating injuries to Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, and, most recently, Desmond Bane, many viewed Capela as an ideal trade target for Memphis to pursue in an attempt to fill some of their biggest rotational voids and vie for a postseason slot this year.
A well-known frontcourt enforcer who primarily focuses on the nitty-gritty aspects of the game, the center is a shot-blocking, board-gobbling extraordinaire who, over the last six seasons, finds himself posting impressive averages of 13.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks on 62.2 percent shooting from the field.
On top of this, for his career, he boasts a stellar defensive rating of 107 and an offensive rebounding percentage of 15.0, which is .2 higher than the argued best offensive rebounder in the game today in Adams.
Of course, as Cole alluded to, this hypothetical move could only be considered realistic if the Grizzlies have doubts about the rehabilitation of Adams' knee. Should they feel confident in his recovery, aside from his slightly higher level of athleticism and shot-blocking abilities, such a move may be rather redundant.
Nevertheless, should Memphis want to make a move that could help them improve both this season as well as beyond, adding a guy like Capela should be considered an intriguing move for them to make.