Grizzlies big tabbed as possible trade target for title favorite

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages

Despite their lowly 6-15 record, the Memphis Grizzlies are a team with ample talent stashed throughout their roster.

From established stars like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. to promising young studs like David Roddy and Vince Williams Jr., throughout the last several years GM Zach Kleiman has constructed an impressive unit that, even with such a lackluster start to 2023-24, other ball clubs would love to get a piece or two of.

In fact, there's one specific title favorite who has been linked to the franchise as being a potential future trade partner, as the folks at HoopsHype reported back on November 29 that the Boston Celtics are intrigued at the idea of trading for fifth-year small forward, John Konchar.

However, seemingly coinciding with the recent rumors that the C's are looking to improve their depth, Ben Dupont of CelticsBlog suggested that, along with the sharpshooting wing, they may also want to inquire about the availability of fourth-year big, Xavier Tillman.

Grizzlies big Xavier Tillman a possible trade option for Celtics

Citing the fact that Tillman's contract is coming to an end this summer, Dupont begged the question of whether the Grizzlies would even consider re-upping with him beyond this season, especially considering that rising star Desmond Bane's recently signed contract extension will officially kick-in in 2024-25.

Should Memphis be hesitant to bring the big back, Boston could prove to be a team that they could flip him for assets in the meantime rather than risk losing him for nothing during the offseason.

"Would the Celtics want to re-sign him? Should they give up draft capital for a couple months’ play from a third big? Maybe not. But Tillman would provide youth and intensity – something that Boston’s frontcourt is severely lacking. And they could get his $1.9 million salary without moving a single player to Memphis because of a $6.2 million trade exception. If Boston would rather send out a player for salary purposes or to save the exception, though, Svi Mykhailiuk and a few other players have deals that could be stacked to match."

Ben Dupont on Xavier Tillman

A powerful frontcourt commodity, Tillman is a tweener big who, despite his semi-lacking height (6-foot-7), can play both the fourt and five positions and has a game that allows him to play inside and out.

So far this season, the 24-year-old is posting solid per-game averages of 7.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and just shy of a block.

Should the Grizzlies find themselves questioning whether they should hold onto Tillman beyond this final year under contract, perhaps pursuing a deal with a team from the opposite division would be the ideal way to go about things and, in many ways, the Celtics could be an ideal partner in such a scenario.