As expected, the Memphis Grizzlies haven’t gotten off to the best start. With star Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of the NBA season and the Grizzlies missing starting center Steven Adams as well as backup center Brandon Clarke, they are dangerously thin. So much so that they started the season 0-6.
While Adams is out for the season and Clarke will likely miss most of the year, the Grizzlies were hoping to tread water until they got their best player back in December. Instead, they may be forced to make a more drastic move to prevent them from falling even further behind in a highly competitive Western Conference. That could mean making a big trade to try and add reinforcements, with the Cleveland Cavaliers being a potential trade partner.
NBA Trades: The Grizzlies add Jarrett in this proposed deal with the Cavs
The Cavaliers have gotten off to a good start to the season and boast one of the best young cores in the NBA. However, there has been some discussion about sliding power forward Evan Mobley up to center, allowing the Cavaliers to add another shooter to the starting lineup. That would make All-Star center Jarrett Allen expendable and there have been speculation that he could be available for the right price.
Thus a deal between the Grizzlies and Cavaliers could make sense with Memphis trading Adams, and Zaire Williams as well as two firsts to Cleveland for Allen. In this proposed deal, the Grizzlies would get a long-term upgrade at center, with Allen, who’s also under contract for three more seasons and five years younger than Adams.
Adding him now would help them shore up a weak point that has been opened up due to injuries while also setting them up for the long run once Morant is back. To acquire him, they would need to move on from Adams, who has one year left on his contract next season, as well as Williams, who hasn’t shown much this season thus far but still might.
They would also have to part with two firsts, though only one of them is actually there’s with Memphis owning what is likely to be Phoenix’s pick in next year’s draft . That would probably be something that they would be willing to do if it helps them both now and going forward.
For Cleveland, moving on from Allen now would allow them to play Mobley at center, which would give them more defensive versatility and spacing at the position. They would also be cashing in on Allen’s value near it’s peak, allowing them to receive more assets. After the Donovan Mitchell trade depleted their number of draft picks, this deal would help them to restock it.
Not only that but it would free them up to make another deal to shore up another position. In fact, they could use Adam’s affordable contract as well as the picks received in a potential Allen deal to make that happen.
The Grizzlies took another hit after their starting center was ruled out for the NBA year but this deal with Portland would help them solve their problems.
But would either team agree to the deal? Memphis is certainly motivated to with no starting-caliber center currently active on the roster and Allen’s potential long-term fit. Cleveland also potentially would given the return value for Allen and the roster flexibility that it would provide.