When it was announced on Thursday that the Memphis Grizzlies had traded Tony Wroten to the Philadelphia 76ers, many people were perplexed as to why either team would bother to make such a move. Wroten wasn’t great last season in Memphis, but he’s also a player that many people believe has a ton of potential. However, he’s also a guy that a lot of people worry about in terms of attitude.
Wroten played in just 35 games for the Grizzlies last season and averaged just 2.6 points, 1.2 assists and 0.8 rebounds in only 7.8 minutes per game. He also shot just 38.4 percent from the floor. However, Wroten was just a rookie last season and many people like the idea of having a 6’6” point guard and the advantages that can create.
The Sixers likely went through with the deal to take a low-risk flyer on Wroten. Obviously the Grizzlies didn’t trade Wroten for what they got in return. The Sixers sent only a second-round pick to Memphis in exchange for the guard. Though second-round picks can sometimes be valuable, that is probably more of an exception more than it is the rule.
Essentially, the Grizzlies made this trade to save money. As a small-market team, the Grizzlies have made it clear over the past year that they are in the business of being a fiscally responsible organization. The Rudy Gay trade last season is obviously the biggest example of this.
Though Wroten is only $1.1 million next season, Memphis does save more money than that by clearing his salary off of their books. With Wroten on their payroll, the Grizzlies were actually $245,000 over the luxury tax, but are now nearly $1 million under the luxury tax. It’s hard to argue that sending away a prospect like Wroten, even with his attitude concerns, makes sense in the interest of saving such a miniscule amount of money, but it’s now clearer than ever that Memphis’ chief concern lies with their financial situation.