Grizzlies trade idea for two-way forward likely has Jaren Jackson Jr. back at center

Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

There's an argument to be made that Jaren Jackson Jr. may be one of the more optimal options to serve as the long-term starting center for this Memphis Grizzlies team considering his defensive chops, floor-spacing abilities, and improving playmaking skills.

Though the ball club had themselves one of their worst campaigns in recent memory this past season, while primarily serving at the five the All-Star big wound up having one of his more productive years of his career from a statistical standpoint, setting new highs in points (22.5), shot attempts (1162), and usage percentage (30.4).

While GM Zach Kleiman has hinted that one of the front office's main priorities this summer will be to add reinforcements to their center rotation, during his exit interview he also noted that the Grizzlies may be "best positioned if Jaren is playing the five," meaning they could also be in the market to find a replacement for him at the starting four spot should this rotational shift become permanent.

In the event that this hypothetical happens, should they be more interested in finding an outsourced power forward rather than simply promoting from within, Nick Crain of FanNation's Inside the Nets proposed a trade idea that would send Brooklyn veteran Dorian Finney-Smith out to Grind City.

Recent trade proposal sends Dorian Finney-Smith to Memphis Grizzlies

A proven two-way commodity who the Grizzlies have been rumored to have had an interest in, Finney-Smith is coming off a 2023-24 season where he posted solid averages of 8.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while shooting roughly 35 percent from beyond the arc.

Throughout his eight-year professional career, the 30-year-old has established himself as being a hustle-and-bustle brand of player who displays an impressive array of strength, agility, and overall toughness that, frankly, is always endeared by the faithful fanbase out in the 38103.

While his addition to the rotation may seem to be a logical idea from an on-paper perspective, the optics of routing him to Memphis may be a bit complicated, as Crain believes there are two trains of thought when it comes to a possible offseason transaction with the Nets.

"In a more one-to-one type of deal, both Luke Kennard and Brandon Clarke are on similar salary figures in the upcoming season. That would be more of a position swap if the Grizzlies view Finney-Smith as an upgrade over either of those players. Draft capital of some sort or a young prospect would need to be included, but there are many ways to make that type of package work.

Alternately, Memphis could aggregate the salaries of John Konchar ($6.1M) and Ziaire Wiliams ($6.1M) who combined make close to what Finney-Smith does."

Nick Crain

Without hesitation, any outbound package for Finney-Smith would have to exclude Brandon Clarke's name, for not only is he a beloved member of the Grizzlies organization but, during his six games played post-Achilles tear, he showed that he's able to perform at similar levels to where he was pre-injury which undoubtedly will come in handy for the franchise moving forward.

Then that leaves the notion presented by Crain that "there would need to be more added" outside of salary matches alone, which likely indicates draft picks.

Finney-Smith is a quality player who can help a number of win-now teams with his contributions, but considering Memphis has a promising young tweener forward in GG Jackson currently under contract and own the rights to a lottery selection during this year's draft where they could simply nab more frontcourt talents, there doesn't seem to be all that much drive for this team to cough up capital for a veteran who has two more years left on his $55.5 million deal.

As of right now, it would appear that, even if the Grizzlies wish to keep trip at the pivot, there are better alternitives to filling their starting power forward spot than trading for Finney-Smith.