ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast after Thursday’s trade deadline that he had heard of one team offering four first-rounders to the Nets for Bridges. Brooklyn acquired the 26-year-old forward from the Suns as part of its package for Kevin Durant.
While I have no doubt that Scotto’s and Lowe’s reporting is accurate (ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also said during a TV appearance that Memphis “tried really hard” to get Bridges or Raptors forward OG Anunoby), there’s an important caveat worth mentioning: neither reporter could confirm the protection details of those four first-rounders the Grizzlies put on the table.
Memphis controls all of its own future first-round picks, as well as the Warriors’ 2024 first-rounder (top-four protected). It’s safe to assume the Grizzlies would have offered their own 2023 first-rounder, which currently projects to be just 25th overall. If Memphis also wanted to add protections to a couple other picks in its offer, it’s easier to understand why Brooklyn was comfortable hanging onto Bridges, a talented two-way player who is under contract through 2025/26.
It’s also worth noting that the Grizzlies’ core is still very young, so their first-round picks from 2025-29 could be considered less valuable than future first-rounders from an older team whose stars might not still be playing by the time those later picks convey.
Bridges is averaging career highs in points (17.2), rebounds (4.3), and assists (3.6) per game this season, and is a career .499/.376/.848 shooter who is also a strong, versatile defender. The Suns were reportedly extremely reluctant to include him in their package for Durant, and Scotto reported earlier this week that several teams immediately called the Nets to see if they’d be willing to flip him.
Having missed out on three-and-D wings like Bridges and Anunoby, Memphis instead completed a deadline-day deal for Luke Kennard, who is one of the NBA’s best shooters but isn’t nearly the defender that Bridges or Anunoby is.
Still, as Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes, the Grizzlies are excited to add Kennard and his .427 career 3PT% to their rotation. Head coach Taylor Jenkins suggested that the newest member of the Grizzlies could share the court with Desmond Bane, another one of the NBA’s top outside shooters.
“That’s what one of our guys was talking about last night,” Bane said. “Just having another guy that can really shoot and has done it at a high level for a while now. So I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like.”