TUESDAY, 9:29am: The Grizzlies have “kicked around” the idea of relinquishing Koufos in a trade, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes.
MONDAY, 8:25am: The Kings are one of multiple teams to have called the Grizzlies about Kosta Koufos, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The Cavs are another, as Windhorst’s ESPN colleague Marc Stein wrote earlier this month, and Windhorst confirms Stein’s suggestion that Dion Waiters was a part of talks between Cleveland and Memphis as the Cavs make him available to other teams as part of a quest to add defense. Koufos is making $3MM this season in the final year of his contract.
Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said earlier this season that he had paused his usual aggressive stance on the trade market, but with a coaching change already having taken place in Sacramento, it appears the Kings are ready to make some roster moves. Sacramento reportedly made the initial inquiry in talks with the Nets about Deron Williams. They continued to have interest in Rajon Rondo up until he was dealt, though they found Boston’s asking price too high for their liking, according to a report. They were also apparently interested in Ricky Rubio before the season and maintain their interest in Josh Smith. All of those players, aside from Smith, are point guards, so it appears they’re operating on a different track with Koufos, whom the Kings presumably envision as a backup to DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento went 2-8 over a recent 10-game stretch while Cousins was out with viral meningitis.
Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger suggested recently that Memphis had no desire to make a move, which advanced an earlier report indicating that it would be surprising if the Grizzlies shook up a team that started the season as one of the NBA’s best. Memphis has lost back-to-back games to Eastern Conference heavies Chicago and Cleveland, but it’s not clear if that’s enough to spur the front office into action. Waiters’ trade value isn’t strong at current partly because teams believe he’s unwilling to accept a bench role, according to Windhorst. That would appear to indicate that the Grizzlies aren’t particularly enamored with what Cleveland has to offer, though there’s been no indication of the way Memphis, specifically, regards Waiters. The third-year guard is up for an extension to his rookie scale contract this coming summer.