The Memphis Grizzlies need a trade. Reports recently came out that the Memphis Grizzlies are open to trading their franchise cornerstones, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. This may be overdue, as the grit and grind style of Memphis is ineffective in today’s NBA. Luckily, the team can build around Jaren Jackson and finally look towards the future. As the grit and grind era comes to an end in Memphis, I looked for what trades can be made to jumpstart the Grizzlies rebuild.
Grizzlies Recieve: Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer, Stanley Johnson, 2019 1st Round Pick (Top 10 Protected), 2019 + 2020 Second Round Pick
Pistons Recieve: Mike Conley, Omri Casspi
For the Grizzlies, they manage to recoup decent value for their aging star on an overpriced contract. Mike Conley is a talented guard, yet he is obviously not enough to carry Memphis into the playoffs. Reggie Jackson and John Leuer are both serviceable players, but their primary role in this trade is to fill salary. Memphis’ real benefit in this trade is Stanley Johnson and draft assets. Although Johnson hasn’t played incredibly in his short NBA career, he is only 22. He may not have much talent on the offensive end, but his defensive abilities are still highly impressive. Additionally, adding draft assets is a necessity for the Grizzlies, and trading Conley will also help them tank for a top pick. There really isn’t a huge market for point guards in the NBA right now, especially those past 30 years old and 3-years plus $96-million left on their contract. The Grizzlies will have a hard time finding a trade partner for Conley and shouldn’t expect an incredible return.
The Pistons are one of the few teams that badly need a new point guard. Jackson, although a talented player, does not fit in Detroit. Conley is only shooting 2% better on an extra 0.5 attempts from three, but he is not getting the same looks as Jackson. Reggie has been assisted on 82% of his threes compared to Conley’s 64% assisted. With a shot creator such as Blake Griffin next to him, Conley should get more open attempts from three. Additionally, the Pistons already play at a slow pace, so Conley shouldn’t struggle to adjust. Omri Casspi will also aid the Pistons depth and floor spacing. As a career 37% shooter, Casspi will give Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin plenty of room to work down low. By adding a talent such as Conley and a great shooter such as Casspi, the Pistons will be able to make a comeback after their midseason slump.
Check out other trades for the Detroit Pistons here.
Grizzlies Recieve: Pau Gasol, Davis Bertans, 2019 1st Round Pick (Top 10 Protected)
Spurs Recieve: Marc Gasol
Since the Grizzlies fear Gasol walking this offseason, any compensation they get in return is valuable. Even though Pau Gasol is just a salary filler, Davis Bertans can be a good role player or a piece in a future trade. The Grizzlies need to collect draft assets and start tanking and trading Marc Gasol helps with both of those goals. Just like Conley, there is not a huge market for an aging star on a big contract. Additionally, few teams in the playoff race are looking to improve their center position, shrinking the market for Gasol. It is a very tough decision for the Grizzlies, but trading their two aging stars and starting a rebuild is the right move.
For the Spurs, this trade allows them to improve their center position by replacing Pau with his younger brother, Marc. Marc is a far better defender, which would help the Spurs’ 18th ranked defense significantly. The center spot is arguably the most important to a team’s defense, so upgrading that position should lead to a notable improvement overall. Marc Gasol is still averaging over 1 steal and 1 block per game while being 7th in defensive win shares and 12th in defensive box plus-minus. Also, his ability to shoot from the outside will help offset the spacing lost by trading Bertans. Overall, I believe Marc Gasol would be the perfect fit in San Antonio and deliver success as the Popovich era comes to end.