When the news came down that the Memphis Grizzlies were open to trading the two pillars of their franchise in Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, it was surprising. Shortly after that had worn off, the speculation began about where the players could potentially land. One team who comes to mind as a possible option for Gasol is the Boston Celtics, depending on how they opt to approach the situation and their future.
The original report came from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday, as he cited the Grizzlies would listen to offers for the two players. With that said, he also mentions that the front office could keep one or both players if the offers aren’t enough to move the needle.
“Memphis ownership and management have decided that they’ve reached an organizational crossroads and are preparing to weigh deal scenarios on one or both of their cornerstone veterans between now and the Feb. 7 trade deadline — and perhaps into the offseason, league sources said.”
While the Celtics could do a variety of things at the trade deadline, we know Danny Ainge is willing and capable of swinging for the fences if the opportunity presents itself. In turn, we opted to put together three different trade scenarios for the Celtics to acquire Gasol, with two of them being three-team deals.
Let’s start things off with a straight-up deal between Boston and Memphis, then roll into the bigger options.
*Note: All trades were created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Marc Gasol for Al Horford and Extras
I’d be interested to see how the Grizzlies envision JaMychal Green’s trade value. There’s a chance this may not be enough to make the deal happen if Memphis somewhat overvalues him. With that said, I think the Celtics picking up Gasol and Green, along with a solid backup point guard behind Kyrie Irving makes sense.
While Green is in the final year of his deal, per Spotrac, he (and Shelvin Mack) would come off the books after the year. Although giving up both Terry Rozier and Robert Williams isn’t ideal, it may be required to make the deal happen. I’m mostly on board with the idea of Boston moving Rozier, simply because their chances of re-signing him after the season are basically zero.
Al Horford would need to be a centerpiece of any deal here more than likely, for a few different reasons. Even though Gasol’s numbers are down a bit, he’d provide the defensive stopper inside which Boston could use while also offering a scoring punch
Huge Celtics, Grizzlies & Mavericks 3-Team Trade
*Celtics send protected draft pick to Grizzlies
This deal took quite a bit to put together, but it essentially leads to the Dallas Mavericks overhauling a portion of the roster, which mostly includes players already linked in trade rumors. While Dennis Smith Jr. and the Mavericks may have fixed any immediate issues, the team would still be wise to move him. They also get Wesley Matthews’ contract off the books and move DeAndre Jordan, who’s only under contract for this year.
One interesting topic is how Dallas would feel about moving Maxi Kleber. I’d have to imagine they aren’t completely against it, even if they do like him as a player. If it meant bringing in Conley and Horford, they’d almost certainly be fine with this.
From a Celtics standpoint, the potential to add Kleber with Gasol is solid. Along with that, they’re only giving up Horford and a protected pick in the deal.
3-Team Marc Gasol Trade With Magic
*Magic send a second-round pick to Celtics
If the Orlando Magic are looking to move Nikola Vucevic and remain open to a Terrence Ross deal, this makes sense. The Grizzlies add a solid shooting guard and Vucevic for the remainder of this season while giving up only Gasol.
This trade for the Celtics is the opposite to some extent of what we saw in the last one, as they give up both Horford and Rozier, but receive a pick in return. Although we know the team is unlikely to re-sign Rozier after the year, the Magic tossing a second-round pick into the mix adds a way to ease the loss this year. Boston also picks up a capable backup in Jerian Grant.
There’s a chance the Celtics don’t view this deal as enough to help their chances at a title this year, and if that’s the case then the offer would need to be bolstered a bit.