The Western Conference arms race continues.
Houston added Corey Brewer and Josh Smith. Dallas added Rajon Rondo. Oklahoma City took a flier on Dion Waiters.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been near the top of the West all season and at 25-10 are currently the three seed in the conference. They were already seen as a serious playoff threat. But now they are looking to add some depth on the wing for that playoff push — maybe adding either Miami’s Luol Deng or Boston’s Jeff Green. That according to Marc Stein or ESPN.
It is not immediately known how willing Miami would be to trade Deng, who is not yet even halfway through his first season of the two-year, $19.9 million contract he received from the Heat in the wake of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland via free agency….
Green, meanwhile, is widely believed to be available leading into the deadline in the wake of Boston’s deal to send Rondo to Dallas last month. Although Green told local reporters last week on the eve of Rondo’s first game at TD Garden as a visiting player that he doesn’t “want to know how that feels because I don’t want to be traded.”
Any Grizzlies offer for Deng or Green is likely to feature the $7.7 million expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince as well as the promise of future draft compensation.
Deng would be a great fit in Memphis — he is a good complimentary offensive player averaging 14.3 points a game on an above average 58.7 true shooting percentage, and hitting 36.3 percent from three. Plus he’s a quality defender. He fits right in with what they want to do in Memphis. However, I can’t imagine Miami trading Deng for Prince and the Pu Pu platter of picks, the Grizzlies will need to make this worth Miami’s while.
Green would bring increased athleticism to the Grizzlies wing, he’s far more dynamic than Prince. Green is scoring 17.9 points a game in Boston with a slightly above average 54.2 true shooting percentage. He’s a better spot up shooter than he gets credit for but his hitting just 31.1 percent from three this season. Green also has been inconsistent his entire career.
The real takeaway here is that the Grizzlies rightfully think they have a chance at advancing out of the West this season and they are looking to shore up a weak spot by being aggressive on the trade market. Which, if they land someone the quality of the two guys mentioned, should worry the rest of the West.
Also, a move like this (or even the rumors of a move like this) show free agent to be Marc Gasol that they are serious and will spend to win.
Either of those two guys would be big upgrades to an already formidable Memphis team.