The Grizzlies are "working on" a trade that would send Fab Melo to Memphis and Donte Greene to Boston, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (via Twitter). It's not clear how close the two sides are to an agreement, or whether the deal would include additional pieces.
Melo was selected 22nd overall by the Celtics in 2012's draft, but only appeared in six NBA games in his rookie season. The Syracuse product spent most of the season with Boston's D-League affiliate, averaging 9.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 33 contests for the Maine Red Claws. Greene, meanwhile, signed a late-season contract with the Grizzlies that included a non-guaranteed 2013/14 salary. He didn't appear in a game for Memphis.
Melo's and Greene's salaries are close enough that a swap wouldn't require additional players. Under normal circustances, I'd expect Memphis to have to include cash and/or future draft considerations to land a young big like Melo. However, the 23-year-old's underwhelming rookie season, along with the Celtics' proximity to the tax line, should give the Grizz leverage.
If Boston were to move Melo's guaranteed deal, then release Greene's non-guaranteed contract, it would reduce team salary by about $1.3MM — for a rebuilding club currently above the tax threshold by about $78K, those savings could be worth parting with last year's first-round pick.
This post was first published on August 15th at 10:19am CST.