Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Leonard, Matthews

It’s inevitable, Keith Smith of RealGM writes, that the Grizzlies will need to trade Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. The two veterans were the last longtime core players standing after Zach Randolph and Tony Allen departed during the offseason and could help the franchise land desperately needed assets on their way out.

Although both players are approaching the wrong side of their primes, they could make an impact for contending teams. Gasol, Smith writes, could even land the Grizzlies a package of draft picks and young players if dealt.

Finding a suitor for Conley may be slightly more difficult as he’s owed nearly $114MM through 2020-21. For that reason, the scribe suggests that the Grizzlies should jump at any opportunity to get out of the deal if they get a chance, even if the yield is less than expected.

The moves may be difficult, Smith adds, but they’d put the Grizzlies on the quickest course to building a new contender.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • While it was announced that Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard would be out for an “indefinite period” of time to rehab his right quadriceps injury, the injury isn’t as disastrous as some have interpreted it as. “Career-threatening shouldn’t even be in the conversation,” one person close to Leonard told Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required).
  • Rockets CEO Tad Brown was surprised that the league didn’t come down on Blake Griffin for allegedly hitting head coach Mike D’Antoni, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. Gerald Green and Trevor Ariza were the only players suspended for their parts in the kerfuffle that unfolded in Los Angeles on Monday night.
  • Unsure of where the Mavs currently fall in the To Tank Or Not To Tank debate, Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News writes that there’s no major incentive to unload Wesley Matthews. The economics of the league have changed since Matthews signed his four-year, $70MM contract back in 2015. These days, the approximately $18MM cap hit for the lockdown perimeter defender doesn’t seem as outlandish as it did in the past.
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4 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Leonard, Matthews

  1. JT19

    Could see the Grizzlies getting a decent return for Gasol. But they’d have to move him before the start of next season. The trade deadline might be a little tough to move his salary, but the offseason is a reasonable time as teams will have a better idea of their cap space. I don’t see them getting a blue-chip young player or a pick that is likely to be a top 5 pick (not saying either team would trade the pick, but the Sixers/Celtics owned Lakers pick would be an example of a pick that is probably too high) but a couple of firsts and some salary fillers seems reasonable. I agree about Conley as well. Doubt a team offers up much, but I could see him garnering a mid-to-late first round pick if the teams can make the money work.

  2. smittybanton

    They will only trade Tyreke Evans.

    Insurance pays Conley’s tab if he’s out long enough, plus they get more ping-pong balls. He’d need a court order to get on the court this year, if I were the GM.

    Draft Luka Doncic, call him the future and slide him at the two, pretend that Chandler Parsons is healthy and sell season tickets next year. You think Memphis, Tennessee won’t pay to see a bad-ass 19 year old white boy named Luke? Ch-ching. $$$$

  3. Dicka24

    As Celtics fan I just want Memphis to really stink in 2021.

    2019 1st round pick from Grizzlies (protected):

    This one is top 8 protected in 2019 and top 6 protected in 2020 and unprotected in 2021.

    As for their current predicament, it probably makes sense to unload their assets and start the rebuild. They can’t get out of the West anytime soon, and their best player is aging. I agree its easier to trade Gasol in the offseason, but he might (I stress might) net more with this year and next remaining on his contract. I believe his ’19-20 3rd year is a player option for $25m. The NBA is silly money these days so who knows if he exercises it or not.

    Conley mike make sense for a team like the Clippers. They could use a pg, are in a win now mode, and have a billionaire owner who has no problem writing a check even for marginal improvement. When healthy, Conley would be more than a marginal improvement, and could really help the Clippers become a decent team in a difficult western conference.


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