3 trade targets Grizzlies must pursue with new $12.4 million DPE

Jan 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins watches the game
Jan 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins watches the game / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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On Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies were awarded their second disabled player exception of the season following superstar Ja Morant's campaign-ending shoulder surgery.

With this, they now have $12.4 million in added cap room that they can use to either sign a player in free agency, claim off of waivers, or, easily the more entertaining, add a coveted talent on an expiring contract via trade.

Though there are those such as Locked on Grizzlies host Joe Mullinax who believe it may be in the best interest of the franchise to simply let these DPE luxuries expire, as he suggests adding players could interfere with the development of some of the team's impressive youngsters, there are ways for them to utilize the exceptions without having it negatively impact the progress of their youths.

Trade targets Grizzlies must pursue with $12.4 million DPE

With the February 8 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Grizzlies may want to scour the market to see if there are any worthy options to consider using their lofty new $12.4 million asset on.

Though Zach Kleiman and company shouldn't necessarily be hell-bent on adding someone via the exception, there are a few individuals strewn across the league that they may want to consider pursuing.

3. Aleksej Pokusevski

As noted, a concern some may have when it comes to Memphis using their DPE is that the person that hypothetically gets brought in could infringe upon the playing time of some of the team's currently developing talents such as GG Jackson and Vince Williams Jr.

Though this may be a valid fear, what should trump it is the idea of possibly adding even more intriguing young prospects into the mix, and OKC Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski certainly fits this particular description.

Selected 17 overall back in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Serbian-born baller has shown the capability of becoming a legitimate problem at the NBA level, though said showings have come in sporadic flashes throughout his tenure and, in 2023-24, he has now virtually fallen out of the rotation entirely as Oklahoma City looks to contend rather than develop.

While the Grizzlies have recently turned into a team that is of this same title-driven mindset, with their slew of injuries this season they've now become one that is seemingly prioritizing development over a strong playoff push and, considering they're still looking for any semblance of an answer for their small forward woes, taking a shot at the likes of Pokusevski could be an idea worth pursuing.

Despite boasting a 7-foot build with a 7-foot-3 wingspan that is generally found amongst centers, the fourth-year pro boasts a skill set more reminiscent of a tweener forward what with his ability to handle the ball and facilitate.

Though far from a ready-made product, adding someone of his make and age (22) to the Grizzlies could prove to be an exciting and overall worthwhile risk to take, especially if he can work on becoming more of a floor-spacing threat.

For his career, the raw yet mesmerizing Poku sports averages of 7.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and just shy of a block.