With the NBA trade deadline less than a week away, the Memphis Grizzlies front office has a lot to mull over. The jury is still out on the Rudy Gay trade. Nobody can truly tell whether the trade will turn out to be a stroke of genius by Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace or a blunder that will ultimately cost the Grizzlies their chance of reaching an NBA Finals during their extremely narrow window to do so with an aging roster. Although the Grizzlies have already made one big move, the makeup of the current roster is still fundamentally flawed. If there’s been one gaping hole in the Grizzlies roster over the last several years, it’s been the lack of a three point threat and someone to spread the floor to give Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol more space inside. Below are several trade ideas that make sense for the Grizzlies to pursue before the trade deadline. (All proposed trades and images courtesy of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine)
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur for (CHI) Marco Belinelli and (CHI) Vladimir Radmanovic. The Bulls are a team going nowhere this season without Derrick Rose. Marco Belinelli is in the last year of his contract and he is unlikely to re-sign with the Bulls. Belinelli would give the Grizzlies bench scoring and the three point threat that they desperately need. Additionally, Belinelli is a decently efficient shooter. His eFG% is 46.8% and his TS% is 53%. Belinelli’s defense has improved since he came into the league with the Warriors, and he is now serviceable on that end of the floor so the Grizzlies wouldn’t have to worry about giving him extended minutes off the bench. From the Bulls perspective, Darrell Arthur would be another serviceable big man and give the Bulls another option in their thin front court. Arthur could work very well with Rose in the pick and pop game. Arthur could do what Boozer does except for a lot less money. If this experiment works out, the Bulls could use their amnesty to get rid of Carlos Boozer and his awful contract.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur for (ATL) Anthony Morrow. Another team the Grizzlies could approach is the Atlanta Hawks. As of right now, the Hawks only have five players under contract for next season. With all the players on the Hawks roster in the last year of their deal, the franchise would be wise to get something in return for these players rather than let them walk for free this summer. Anthony Morrow is as good of a three point specialist as there is in the NBA, and he is unlikely to re-sign with Atlanta in the summer. Darrell Arthur would give the Hawks another big man under contract for next season, which could be a huge need for them if superstar Josh Smith decides to take his talents elsewhere, which is the most likely scenario.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur and (MEM) Quincy Pondexter for (MIL) Mike Dunleavy. This deal doesn’t make near as much since for the Milwaukee Bucks as it does for the Memphis Grizzlies. Or does it? Mike Dunleavy is having an excellent season for the Bucks, but he is also in the last year of his contract. He is one of the top three point shooters in the league this year, shooting 43.8% beyond the arc. Dunleavy isn’t much of a threat off the dribble, but what he would bring to the Grizzlies is the floor spacing this team needs. The Bucks would receive two decent players in return. Pondexter could take on much the same role Dunleavy currently plays for the Bucks. Pondexter is shooting a prolific 54.84% on right corner threes, which is extremely valuable in today’s NBA. Darrell Arthur would add depth to a weak Milwaukee front court. Just about the only thing the Bucks do well on offense is shoot threes, and Darrell Arthur would help the Bucks become more two dimensional on offense and raise their two-point shooting percentage significantly.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur and (MEM) Tony Wroten for (ORL) J.J. Redick. With an expiring contract, The Orlando Magic are thought to be shopping J.J. Redick rather than let him walk at the end of the season for nothing. This would be wise for the Magic since they are in rebuilding mode. The Grizzlies have a need for a spot up three point shooter like Redick that can also create off the dribble, and they have young assets that the Magic could use to rebuild. Darrell Arthur is the common theme in all these trade scenarios. With the recent addition of Ed Davis to the Grizzlies, Arthur’s services are increasingly disposable. Arthur has three more years on his contract, and he would give the Magic a rotational power forward for several years. The sweet part of the deal for the Magic would be rookie point guard Tony Wroten Jr. As anybody that has ever watched a Lionel Hollins coached team knows, he hates using rookie point guards. Obviously Wroten won’t be a rookie forever, but Hollins also doesn’t like to use inexperienced point guards, which is ironic because Wroten will never gain experience without playing time. If Hollins refuses to play Wroten, the Grizzlies front office might as well get somebody that he will use that will also fill the team’s biggest need.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Ed Davis for (HOU) Chandler Parsons. This is one of the more far-fetched trade scenarios. Houston would probably be unwilling to part with Chandler Parsons, an up and coming player with great versatility. Parsons is a decent three point shooter, and he can also create his own shot off the dribble. The Grizzlies could use a player like this to replace what Rudy Gay brought to the table while being able to play within the flow of the offense unlike Gay. While Parsons is likely an indispensable part of the Rockets, he plays much the same role on the team as Carlos Delfino. The Rockets have a great need for a front court player with a solid post game. Houston has its fair share of face up big men, but Ed Davis would bring a talented big man who is a strong finisher around the rim. He could possibly make the Rockets a more balanced team, which could be something that would tempt General Manager Daryl Morey to consider shipping Parsons away.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Ed Davis for (LAL) Jodie Meeks and (LAL) Robert Sacre. The Lakers are in a state of disarray, and it might be time to admit the Lakers chances of winning a championship with the current core have already gone by the wayside. It couldn’t hurt the Lakers to shake things up and build for the future. Ed Davis would be a solid building block and in return, the Grizzlies would receive the three point specialist they’ve needed for years.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur and (MEM) Jerryd Bayless for (LAL) Steve Blake and (LAL) Earl Clark. Earl Clark has revitalized his career this year and has been one of the only bright spots for the Lakers, but with his contract expiring after this year, he isn’t likely to be re-signed by the Lakers since they will be throwing so much money at Dwight Howard. Clark is shooting a career high 40.5% beyond the arc, and if he can keep that percentage up that is something the Grizzlies would really value during the second half of the season and especially in the playoffs. While Clark does not really fit the Grizzlies grit and grind style of play, especially on defense, his three point shooting still makes him an attractive trade candidate. The Lakers would receive two role players that could help the Lakers transition into rebuilding mode after this year. Jerryd Bayless is a good backup point guard that would play more defense than the point guard the Grizzlies would receive in Steve Blake while bringing about equal value on offense. Additionally, the Lakers would receive Darrell Arthur. He would help Los Angeles see out the rest of the season by filling in for an injured Pau Gasol in the front court.
Proposed Trade: (MEM) Darrell Arthur and (MEM) Tony Wroten for (PHO) Jared Dudley. The Suns would never pull the trigger on this trade, but Jared Dudley would be a perfect fit for the Grizzlies. He would provide a spark and scoring off of the bench in a sixth man capacity and fill the Grizzlies biggest need. He can knock down three pointers with consistency and he plays within himself on the offensive end rarely trying to do too much which is exactly what Memphis needs. Phoenix would receive rookie point guard Tony Wroten Jr. and Darrell Arthur. The main prize for the Suns would be Tony Wroten Jr. in this deal, but he would make little to no sense for the Suns seeing as there are currently three left handed point guards on their roster. Wroten would make it four. Arthur would be thrown in to sweeten the pie, but it still wouldn’t be enough. The Grizzlies could try to toss a draft pick in there, but the Suns would likely still decline the deal. The Suns have bigger needs than another point guard and a role playing big man.