If you thought that the Mike Conley trade was going to be the crowning achievement of the summer for the new Memphis Grizzlies front office, then you were selling them short. Also, if you thought that you would be able to fully rest and enjoy your Independence Day holiday without a bevy of Woj bombs, then strike two for you.
Parsons sent to Atlanta
Last Tuesday ended the weird and whacky saga that was the Chandler Parsons era in Memphis. Even though the Grizzlies had a logjam on their roster with several players over the maximum 15 on the books, the Atlanta Hawks had even more of a numbers issue on their roster. This situation allowed the two teams to work out a deal to send Parsons to Atlanta for Solomon Hill ($12.7m) and Miles Plumlee ($12.5m).
What the Grizzlies received was two contracts roughly the size of one. Parsons remaining year on his contract was at the colossal rate of $25 million. Parsons and the Grizzlies were unable to reach a buyout agreement, and it was very fortunate that they were able to move him before the season started. Both Hill and Plumlee are on expiring contracts.
Carter and Korver to Phoenix
In his lone season in Memphis, Jevon Carter struggled on the offensive side of the floor, posting an abysmal offensive rating of 90. He showed some promise during his stints with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies G-League affiliate, but he did not fit the mold of young player that the new front office was looking for.
There was always a very good chance that Kyle Korver would never suit up for the Grizzlies. He was acquired as part of the Mike Conley trade with Utah. Korver’s contract was only partially guaranteed up to a certain date and the Grizzlies took full advantage of that by moving him in time to save over $3 million.
In return for Carter and Korver, the Grizzlies received Josh Jackson, De’Anthony Melton, and a pair of second round picks (2020, 2021 if 31-35). Josh Jackson was the 4th overall pick by the Suns in the 2017 draft. In his two seasons in Phoenix, Jackson has been streaky on the court and had issues off of it. If he can turn things around in Memphis like Zach Randolph famously did, then we could be seeing the benefits of this trade for years to come.
De’Anthony Melton is a point guard who was drafted 46th last year. He played in 50 games last year for the Suns and averaged 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in just under 20 minutes of playing time. He will directly soak up the now vacant Jevon Carter minutes as the backup (to the backup) point guard.
Initially this appeared to be a move to clear out some cap space so that the Grizzlies could re-sign their own restricted free agent guard, Delon Wright. There were several teams rumoured to have interest in him including Dallas and Minnesota. Our initial thoughts proved to be too shallow as we would see once additional transactions came to light.
CJ Miles to Washington for Dwight Howard (no picks)
If you forgot that C.J. Miles was a Grizzly as recent as last week, you are not alone. He accepted his player option months ago — essentially as early as he could. His option was for $8.7 million and that was more than he would have gotten on the open market.
Fear not Grizzlies fans, it does not seem likely that Dwight Howard will ever suit up for the Bears. He will likely be waived but the Grizzlies saved $3.1m and free-ed up a roster spot. Do you sense a common theme here?
Iguodala trade also included Washburn
Late on the opening night of free agency, the Grizzlies used a Traded Player Exception gained from the (yet again) Mike Conley trade to accept former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and a future first round draft pick in a trade with Golden State. This particular trade was executed so that the Warriors could free up room on their books. We recently learned that Julian Washburn was sent to Golden State in this deal and subsequently waived. Washburn played for the Grizzlies last year on a 2-way contract, which will be taken up by Yuta Watanabe and John Konchar this season.
Given the rebuilding situation that the Grizzlies are in, it makes sense that Igoudala will once again be traded to another team for additional assets. He also could get bought out if the previous option does not come to fruition. Many folks are mad that the Grizzlies are not immediately buying out Iguodala so that he can join a contender. From a business standpoint, it makes little to no sense to just let a player walk when you might very well be able to get something of value in return for him from a team that is looking for veteran presence and is hoping to make a run for the finals.
- Backdoor Cut (Ep. 99) – Grizz go 1-2 on the week, Trend spotting, Surprises around the NBA
- Backdoor Cut (Ep. 98) Grizzlies + Lakers postgame, season trends
- Jonas Valanciunas Deep Dive: Taking a Look Back and Analyzing What the Grizzlies Have In Their Starting Big Man
Delon Wright to Mavs for two second rounders
Instead of matching an offer sheet put forward by the Mavericks for Delon Wright, the Grizzlies opted to take advantage of the situation and acquire additional assets. This trade was a little more surprising than some of the others due to the fact that it appeared Memphis had been clearing out room to keep Wright so that he could serve as a mentor to their pair of young point guards in De’Anthony Melton and Ja Morant. However, it appears that the Grizzlies were not willing to match the offer sheet from Dallas. Instead of outright letting him go, they decided to play a little chess and perform a sign-and-trade that sent Wright to Dallas in return for two future second round picks and the rights to Satnam Singh (#52 pick from 2015).
The offer that Wright accepted from Dallas was for 3 years and $29 million, a fairly reasonable contract for a rotation player. There are reports that the Mavericks even view Wright as a potential starter. Dallas has signed several other guards during this off-season, including Seth Curry, the former Portland Trail Blazer.
Grizzlies extend offer sheet to Tyus Jones
With Delon Wright now in Dallas, the Grizzlies need a 3rd point guard on their roster, unless new Grizzlies head coach intends to use Kyle Anderson as a primary ball handler — something that Anderson is comfortable doing. However, with the new pace and space offense that Jenkins plans on implementing, it becomes a large question of whether someone nicknamed Slo-Mo is appropriate to run the point.
Memphis has been hanging on to the MLE this summer for such a time as this. The deal that the Grizzlies are offering Jones is similar to the deal that lured Kyle Anderson away from the Spurs this time a year ago.
On Monday, the Wolves claimed former Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace off of waivers. Per Bobby Marks, if the Wolves were to match the Grizzlies offer sheet, then they would enter the luxury tax. I’m not saying that they won’t do that, but for a team in their state — one that is not immediately contending for a title — that becomes unlikely.
Avery Bradley Waived
Avery Bradley was not a Grizzly for long, but he did provide some exciting moments in a very bleak part of the season. Waiving Bradley will save the Grizzlies about $10 million and open up another ever-so-precious roster spot. It also appears he will be going back to LA, this time with the Lakers.
Despite rumors and reports, there has been no official statement from the team regarding a signing of Marko Guduric.
Come at the young kings, you best not miss
Zak (@BarnBurnerBro) is a native Memphian who covers the Memphis Grizzlies, Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals for The Barn. He spends his free time exploring breweries, restaurants, and leading the Ivan Rabb stan club.