Grizzlies trade idea swaps starting guard for future-minded assets

Nov 24, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the
Nov 24, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Since the news broke earlier this week that superstar Ja Morant will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season as he opts to undergo right shoulder surgery, many fans and media pundits alike have begun making the argument that the Memphis Grizzlies may now want to punt on their already lofty postseason aspirations and begin preparation for the upcoming offseason and, in turn, 2024-25.

As is often the case, should the club take such a course of action it would likely lead to them focusing in on developing a few of their younger, less refined talents while also selling off some of their non-long-term assets in exchange for more forward-leaning ones.

Particularly when it comes to this latter point, already we've seen numerous names floated within the trade rumor mill as being possible targets for rival teams ahead of February's deadline and, recently, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report went as far as to craft a specific scenario involving one of the club's most valuable entities heading outbound.

Viewed as an overall tremendous addition for the Grizzlies when brought aboard via trade this past summer, through nearly three months played expectations have unfortunately not met reality when it comes to the Marcus Smart experiment, though one could argue that injuries to both himself and his supporting cast has played a significant role in this lowly turnout thus far.

Nevertheless, as things currently stand his win-now mentality is likely something that wouldn't mesh all that well with Memphis moving forward should they shift their attention toward the future, making the idea of holding onto his services seem a bit unfair for both parties.

Because of this, Favale constructed a trade package that could wind up benefiting both all in one fell swoop.

Grizzlies send Marcus Smart to Rockets for future assets in trade idea

Smart to rockets (B/R)

This hypothetical move by the Grizzlies is one that equips them with two young project players, particularly Jae'Sean Tate, though, to Favale, is more interesting due to the prospects of landing two future draft picks, even highlighting the 2026 first rounder as being "a tasty treat."

"Turning Smart into another first and a gritty defender in Tate (who has a club option for next season) more adequately arms the Grizzlies to make a bigger, finer-tuning move over the offseason, when they'll also presumably have a high lottery pick of their own to dangle."

Dan Favale

As for Smart, he would be reuniting with his former coach with the Celtics in Ime Udoka to help guide his surprise Houston Rockets (18-18) on what is hoped to be their first playoff run in four years.

While there has yet to be any confirmation one way or the other when it comes to what Memphis' plans are moving forward, should they wind up shopping Smart, while it may not equate to what they wound up giving up to attain him in the first place, Favale's proposal just might be one of the best return packages they could net for his services.

Currently on the year, the veteran guard is posting averages of 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.1