The Memphis Grizzlies have acquired Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers in a trade, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Heat and Grizzlies swap backup point guards, but it’s much more clear what Miami gains: Money. The Heat trim their projected expenditures by $7,985,756* ($2,129,535 in payroll and $5,856,221 in luxury tax), though they also could’ve gained a smaller reduction by waiving the partially guaranteed James Ennis before his contract becomes fully guaranteed later this season.
*Updated to reflect Miami being subject to the repeater tax.
It’s less clear what Memphis gets out of this trade besides a different backup point guard. I’d lean toward Beno Udrih over Chalmers – both are on expiring contracts – though the difference is minor. Chalmers offers more upside as a 3-point shooter, which the Grizzlies desperately need, but he hasn’t shown much from outside since LeBron James stopped getting him open looks.
Jarnell Stokes and James Ennis are both young peripheral NBA players with at least a little reason to be intrigued. Again, I think I’d rather have the one Miami got, but the positional difference at least this part of the trade understandable for the Grizzlies.
Ennis is a small forward with nice athleticism, an ability to get to the rim and 3-and-D upside. There’s a clearer path for success behind Jeff Green and Matt Barnes than there was for Stokes at power forward, where Memphis has Zach Randolph, JaMychal Green and Jarell Martin.
Likewise, Stokes fits better in Miami, where Justise Winslow supplanted Ennis as the Heat’s small forward of the future. Stokes is much younger than power forwards now in front of him: Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem. Stokes is a plus rebounder with the ability force his way into inside buckets. I’m just not sure whom he defends.
Plus, the Heat get a second-rounder. Not really sure how they haggled that, but good for them.
Overall, I give Miami a clear edge in this trade, though perhaps the Grizzlies see something in Chalmers to make them believe they can get him back on track.