Most of this season’s deals will go down within 24 hours of the February 20th trade deadline. That doesn’t mean January won’t feature at least one intriguing swap. Last season there were two trades, and while the Grizzlies helped their ledger with a three-for-one swap with the Cavs on the 22nd, the deal that really made waves came eight days later, when Memphis shipped Rudy Gay out of town. The Raptors put Gay into yet another trade last month, so there’s certainly precedent for big names changing teams at or before this point in the season.
Here’s a look back at the most significant January trade from each of the past four years, deals in which the Grizzlies and Mavericks figured prominently:
January 30th, 2013: In a three-team deal, the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors, the Pistons traded Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince to the Grizzlies, and the Raptors traded Jose Calderon to the Pistons and Ed Davis and a 2013 second-round pick (Jamaal Franklin) to the Grizzlies.
- The only player from this trade still with Toronto less than a year later is Daye, and he wasn’t even sent to the Raptors in this deal; he signed with the Raptors in the offseason after playing out the rest of 2012/13 with the Mavericks. The Pistons are similarly empty-handed, though they used the cap flexibility created when they sent out Prince’s long-term deal to help them sign Josh Smith this past summer.
January 4th, 2012: In a three team deal, the Grizzlies traded Xavier Henry to the Pelicans and a 2012 second-round pick (Tornike Shengelia) to the Sixers, the Pelicans traded a second-round pick (Glen Rice Jr.) to the Sixers, and the Sixers traded Marreese Speights to the Grizzlies.
- The Pelicans (then Hornets) wound up with a player picked 12th overall just 18 months prior for the cost of a mere second-round pick, though Henry didn’t display his promise until he wound up with the Lakers this season. The Grizzlies dealt Henry away for frontcourt depth in the wake of an injury to Darrell Arthur, and Memphis would shed Speights a little more than a year later in last year’s three-for-one trade. The Sixers sent out both of the second-rounders they acquired in later trades.
- Recent Pelicans signee Ajinca endured his second trade in a little more than six months and was on his way out of the league for two years until New Orleans brought him back two weeks ago.
- Humphries was a lightly regarded backup before he got to the Nets, but the then-sixth-year power forward assumed his most significant role to date in New Jersey, and the Nets re-signed him to a one-year, $8MM deal after the lockout. He made even more on his next contract, a two-year, $24MM pact that expires at the end of this season.