2) Unload Marcus Smart ... if possible
When Morant went down, trading Smart for whatever they could get seemed like the most obvious move for the Grizzlies to make. That quickly became more complicated.
During the third quarter of Tuesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks, Smart suffered a finger injury. On Thursday, the team announced that he would miss at least six weeks as a result of the rupture of the proximal interphalangeal joint central.
Based on that timeline, it doesn't seem likely Smart will be back on the court by the time the NBA Trade Deadline rolls around on Feb. 8. That will certainly make it harder to trade the veteran, as teams won't have a sense of what he can do until he's playing again.
Smart has already missed a good chunk of time this season with a foot sprain, too. It's fair to wonder if there's reliability concern with him staying on the court right now. That's too bad, because Smart would fit on any number of teams when healthy. He's a former Defensive Player of the Year who plays smart and hard on that end of the court and is more than serviceable on offense, averaging 14.5 points and 4.3 assists per game in his first season in Memphis.
There are plenty of teams that seem like they would be good fits for Smart. Among those that immediately come to mind are the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns. It would help the Grizzlies for scouts to see Smart back on the court first, though. That may no longer be feasible.