Zach Kleiman breaks silence on trade deadline moves by Grizzlies

Oct 2, 2023; Memphis, TN, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman talks with members of
Oct 2, 2023; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman talks with members of / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA trade deadline wasn't one that saw any major blockbuster deals made by the Memphis Grizzlies, but the moves that did wind up happening were far from easy from a decision-making and emotional standpoint.

Leading up to the February 8 cutoff, the franchise opted to part ways with several highly popular core rotation commodities in Steven Adams, Xavier Tillman, and David Roddy.

Since the passing of the deadline, GM Zach Kleiman has broken his silence regarding the moves made, admitting during a press conference that this coming offseason was "a major driver of this trade deadline," as they'll look to fortify a legitimate contender around centerpieces Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane, though highlighted the hardships that came with executing these specific deals.

GM Zach Kleiman opens up on 'human level' of Grizzlies trade moves

"On a human level this was a trade deadline where there's three guys, really, in Steven [Adams], in Xavier Tillman, and David Roddy who I think were drivers of the locker room. They all brought different things in their approach but truly wonderful individuals who are going to be missed and difficult decisions, I think, in each of those cases."

Zach Kleiman

Extrapolating on the after-effects of the club's deadline moves, when asked about the future of the center position following the departure of Adams, Kleiman alluded to the fact that they will strongly consider using their 2024 lottery pick on a possible replacement, though admitted that there are many different options that could present themselves in the coming months.

"For us, again, really taking a step back and being intentional. We have this unique opportunity at this draft and, wherever that pick might be, we want to be in a position where we're able to kind of navigate and steer that in different directions to have optionality... I think there's an open question of who do we pursue, be it by trade, draft, free agency? Is there another addition we will look to make to optimize Jaren [Jackson], to optimize our frontcourt, and to generally position our team to be successful? There's work to be done there most definitely."

Zach Kleiman

Despite the new rotational quagmires that have now presented themselves with their trade deadline decisions, Kleiman has simultaneously made a few key moves to bolster their talent pool moving forward as well, specifically with the signings of Vince Williams Jr. and, most recently, GG Jackson to long-term deals, both decisions the GM has said he's "excited" about.

As the months progress and the 2023-24 campaign dwindles down, perhaps there will begin to be a clearer picture painted regarding what the exact plan may be for this Grizzlies team.

For now, Kleiman is seemingly keeping his options open.