Back by the popular demand of pretty much only myself, it’s the second annual edition of Around the NBA in 15 Trades. We’re taking all 30 teams in the lead up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline and finding a happy middle ground for prosperous barterdom.
Day 7 takes us down to the Southeastern quadrant of the country.
Memphis, I just want to say I’m sorry. I know how much this team meant to the city and the history Grit-n-Grind had. But all good things come to an end eventually.
Miami’s a quality squad that will likely make the postseason, but don’t have much of a shot at making serious noise, at least not as they stand.
C, Hassan Whiteside; PG, Goran Dragic; G/F, Tyler Johnson; SG, Wayne Ellington; 2019 1st Round pick
C, Marc Gasol; PG, Mike Conley; SF, Chandler Parsons
Sidebar: the seven players involved in this deal combine for nearly $150 million in salary this season alone. A group that likely includes zero all-stars.
Why the Grizzlies do it:
Grit n’ Grind’s over and the Marc Gasol-Mike Conley Jr. tandem is the last vestige to a bygone era. It’s time. Important to note, Memphis keeps its pick this year if it lands in the top-eight.
While Hassan Whiteside would surely put up gaudy stats for the Grizzlies, the empty calories wouldn’t inhibit their tanking chances. They could also finagle a way to get exclusive rights from The Killers to remake Mr. Brightside where they rework the lyrics to Mr. Whiteside.
With big contracts coming back, this wouldn’t be an outright salary dump for Memphis, but they do get out of Conley’s extra season when he’s set to make $34.5 million as a 32-year old with a long injury history. Plus, they can probably turn around and flip Goran Dragic to a contender ahead of the deadline.
It’s time for the next generation to take form in Memphis. They have a great start with Jaren Jackson Jr. Securing that top-eight pick in the upcoming draft could give them another cornerstone. But to get there, they need to fall back.
Why the Heat do it:
Safe to say, the Heat are very much over their union with Whiteside.
Miami holds a tenuous grasp on a playoff spot in the east. Upgrading two starters would certainly tighten their grip. If the costs of doing business are Tyler Johnson and a first rounder in the late teens/early twenties, the Heat should comply. Johnson’s a nice player and all, but he looks like Mose and isn’t cheap.
The Heat aren’t currently putting fear into anyone. But add Conley and Gasol to Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, old-man-game Dwyane Wade and Miami’s cabinet of support players and the brows of the East’s elite teams should bead with sweat.
Lastly, I’m not sure if Chandler Parsons needs South Beach or if South Beach needs Chandler Parsons, but it’s the perfect match we all need to see happen.