The Grizzlies and Celtics had cursory discussions about Jeff Green two years ago when Memphis was nearing its Rudy Gay trade, and the teams engaged in more serious discussions about Green last year, according to Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal, who writes in a subcription-only piece. The Grizzlies thought they might acquire Green as part of the Courtney Lee swap that took place in January 2014, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Memphis probably isn’t done dealing, though the Green deal seems to have extinguished the chances that the team will give up Kosta Koufos, Herrington believes. The Grizzlies “kicked the tires” on Thaddeus Young, Herrington writes, echoing a hint from earlier report, but they appear to have moved on from that, the Commerical Appeal scribe adds. Here’s more in the wake of today’s three-team deal:
- Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger had a major voice in the trade talks, as he said Sunday to reporters, including Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link).
- Green isn’t a massive upgrade over what the Grizzlies had at his position, but he’s the right fit, especially given the savings that the team reaps on this year’s team salary and in the long term with the offloading of Quincy Pondexter, opines Ben Golliver of SI.com. It’s also a signal to soon-to-be free agent Marc Gasol that the team is committed to winning, Golliver believes.
- The flurry of trades the Celtics have made in the past few weeks have left the team positioned to clear cap space for the first time in several years, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com points out. The growth of some of the players eligible for restricted free agency this summer makes that cap flexibility all the more intriguing for the C’s, as Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com explains.
- The Pelicans made an upgrade at small forward a priority as they sought Pondexter, writes John Reid of The Times-Picayune.