5 Trade Targets For The Memphis Grizzlies
5 Trade Targets
With the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, it is time for teams to decide if they are all-in for the rest of this season, or if they are going to sit on the sidelines and improve their rosters through the draft or free agency. The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the teams that are looking forward to improving what they already have, but aren't willing to put themselves in a bad situation going forward with no draft picks or by going over the luxury-tax.
See, the Grizzlies have only played 12 games all season with the projected starting lineup from the offseason. They have added Courtney Lee and James Johnson during the season to fill in for injured players, and both have played well enough to warrant a spot in the rotation, and in Lee's case, he has played well enough to warrant a starting spot. Memphis wants to improve their roster if they can, but they also know that they haven't really seen what this team is capable of because of all the injuries.
With Tony Allen set to return after the All-Star break, as well as Mike Conley, the Grizzlies will see what they look like as a whole for the first time all season -- well, as long as no one else gets injured in the interim. Marc Gasol got injured in the last game before the break against the Orlando Magic, but it appears there was no structural damage, and he only banged knees with Jameer Nelson. The only problem for Memphis is that when they have their full roster take the floor Tuesday night against the New York Knicks, it will be their only chance to see what they might want to change before the trade deadline hits.
One thing that Memphis probably already knows is they need to add more shooting, and they need an upgrade over Tayshaun Prince without sacrificing future tax ramifications or draft picks. The first option should be easy to accomplish without hurting the team going forward, but moving Prince would likely cost them too much.
It will be interesting to see which teams snap up all of the fodder that is being left behind by teams wanting to tank, and which teams sit on the sideline in fear of breaking up any team chemistry. The Memphis Grizzlies might not make a trade, but you can believe they will be in the hunt for a move. I have already covered the most likely Grizzlies to be traded, and these are five targets I see them going after before the buzzer sounds on the NBA trade season.
5. Luke Ridnour
The emergence of Nick Calathes makes the need for a backup point guard not as pressing, but only having two capable ball-handlers on the roster is never a good thing. The Milwaukee Bucks are going nowhere this season, so Luke Ridnour has no value for them. He will be a hot name in the coming week among playoff teams. Whichever team comes along and offers them a package that brings on almost no money, and a future second-round pick will most likely be the team that lands Ridnour.
4. Jared Dudley
The Los Angeles Clippers have a logjam at the wing position, and Jared Dudley is the one that is most likely to go. The Clippers need to cut some money to get under the tax line, and Dudley has underperformed upon his arrival in Los Angeles. On a team that would rely on him more and give him more touches, I believe Dudley could be the efficient three-point shooter/defender that he was in Phoenix.
Gaining Dudley wouldn't cost the Grizzlies much, but it would put them into the luxury-tax, so another move would have to go with this one, or a three-team deal would have to be in place. Dudley would be an upgrade over Tayshaun Prince at small forward, and has playoff experience so he wouldn't be overwhelmed.
3. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes was a revelation for the Golden State Warriors during last season's playoffs. He stepped up big for the injured David Lee and put up 16.1 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and shot 36.5 percent from three. This should have been the clue for Golden State to use Barnes as a stretch-four off the bench, especially with the acquisition of Andre Iguodala, but the Barnes has only spent 7.2 percent of his minutes at power forward, while playing 81.8 percent at small forward.
I'm sure a trade for Barnes would mean the Grizzlies send out Ed Davis or Kosta Koufos, which would open up some frontcourt minutes for Barnes to flourish as a stretch-four.
2. Thaddeus Young
Zach Randolph is getting near the end of his playing career, and even though the Grizzlies aren't wanting to move on from him now, they will need to soon. Memphis' hopes are to pair Marc Gasol with an athletic power forward once Randolph is done, and Thaddeus Young would fit that mold perfectly.
Getting Young now isn't a need, but with the Philadelphia 76ers tanking for a top pick and wanting to cut money for the future, the Grizzlies could get Young at a cheaper cost now rather than later. Getting Young would cost the Grizzlies a future first round pick, but he is worth it.
1. Jeff Green
Jeff Green is similar to Young in that he would fit the role of athletic power forward to go next to Gasol. He isn't as big as Young and is more of a small forward, but he is a much better shooter. With Green on the floor, the Grizzlies would have more spacing than they have ever had before. Green would give the Grizzlies a solid nucleus of Conley, Gasol and himself going forward.
Boston has said that they want to build around Green and Rajon Rondo in the future, but they are both only under contract for two more seasons after this one, and they have no one else under contract beyond then that is good enough to be a starter on a playoff team. Chances are Green can be had if the price is right, no matter what the Celtics say.