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May 17, 2022
Basketball

Grizzlies offseason preview: Ja Morant's extension, trade market options and more

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Along with potentially pursuing free agents in 2022 or 2023, the Grizzlies will also likely explore the trade market. They will have plenty of mid-sized salaries to put together in a trade such as Brooks and Adams, as well as several future first-round picks and young players on rookie contracts.

The Lakers pick that the Pelicans traded to the Grizzlies did not convey and will instead receive two second-round picks. Despite that, they can still trade up to six first-round picks this summer. They have all their own first-rounders going forward, as well as the Jazz’s 22nd overall selection in this year’s draft, and a Top 4 protected first-round pick from the Warriors in 2024. They could make a strong trade package with a combination of multiple first-round picks and some of their young players on rookie deals.

Even before his poor performance in this year’s playoffs, it seemed like a good possibility that the Grizzlies would look to trade Brooks this offseason. This is largely to elevate Ziaire Williams, who is clearly their guy along with Bane at the wing spots going forward. Brooks will be eligible to extend for up to four years, $61.3 million, but it’s possible he could command more when he becomes a free agent. Memphis also has a history of trading role players ahead of contract years, such as Jonas Valanciunas and Grayson Allen despite their contributions in the 2021 play-in and playoffs.

With their core of Morant, Jackson Jr., Bane, and Williams set, starting center seems to be the position they could upgrade the most. There could be several high-quality centers available for trade this offseason. If Rudy Gobert is out there, the Grizzlies could form one of the league’s best defensive frontcourts pairing him with Jackson Jr. If they want a cheaper option, both in terms of player salary and the price to acquire him, they could pursue players such as Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl.

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