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Deal of the Day: What would a Wizards and Grizzlies trade look like?

With the Grizzlies surging they look to the Wizards for wing defense.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In today’s Deal of the Day, the Washington Wizards (hypothetically, of course) trade Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Holiday to the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton, Jarrett Culver and Xavier Tillman Sr.

Here is how it would look on the NBA Trade Machine.

Why do the Grizzlies do the deal?

Yesterday we dealt with the surprisingly surging Cavaliers. Today it’s the 35-18, 3rd seed in the West, Grizzlies.

Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian recently explained to ESPN’s Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post podcast that Memphis views its core as Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Zaire Williams, DillonBrooks and Steven Adams. They also like Brandon Clarke who’s been improving after a not so great second season. That leaves a few young vets on the outside and possibly available for certain upgrades including Melton, Tyus Jones, Culver and Kyle Anderson aka Slow Mo.

In this version they hold onto Jones as their back-up PG. Kyle Anderson is expiring and likely their main trade chip besides their three FRPs (theirs, the Lakers’ and Utah’s) so they hold him for another deal but include Melton and Culver. Lowe referred to Culver as being “there (on the roster) to be traded”.

KCP provides Memphis with size and a bump in wing defense where Melton is often undersized and better suited for back court duty. Caldwell-Pope is also the better 3pt shooter both historically and recently. When you consider KCP’s championship experience this is a deal that checks every box with Memphis climbing toward the top of the West.

Holiday provides a short term 3rd PG on an expiring contract.

Why do the Wizards do the deal?

Because I’m a big fan of De’Anthony Melton. Oh the Wizards, right right, they should be big fans too! This is another trade that is part of a larger tear down.

One piece of any reset has to be refocusing on the defensive end. Adding the 23 year old Melton gives us a jolt there. Melton is 5th in the league in deflections. His Defensive Win Shares and Defensive Box Plus/Minus numbers would lead the Wizards regulars. He’s only owed $8.2M next season and $8.0M in 2023. He could be a key reserve or start opposite Point Beal, allowing Dinwiddie (while he’s here) to operate off the bench.

Tillman is another favorite from his draft class. He’s been a plus defender as well playing minutes at PF/C and is only 23 himself. He’s available because the Grizzlies drafted Santi Aldama in the first round then upgraded Killian Tillie to a standard NBA contract after he started out as a two way player for them. They’ve been getting more minutes than Tillman, who will fit right in as a big passing out of the mid post. He’s also making the league minimum next year while 2023 is a team option for $1.9M.

Jarrett Culver is both the perfect Wizards returning asset and the least exciting of the three. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The former lottery pick is a positional tweener who hasn’t developed a reliable jump shot. We’re talking 29% from 3pt range and 50% from the free throw line for his career. He turns 23 later this month. No doubt the Wizards brass will tout his former draft slot as a positive as they’ve done before with Jerome Robinson, Mo Wagner and Chandler Hutchison. I’d expect Culver to provide a similar impact while in DC. He is on an expiring contract.

Memphis is a fun team to imagine deals with as they could have a legit use for KCP, Harrell and other Wizards while having easy pieces to send back as stated above, and those picks.

The Rotation

After just this move, the roster would look like this:

  • G: Dinwiddie - Melton - Neto - Winston
  • G: Beal - Culver
  • F: Avdija - Kispert - Bertans
  • F: Kuzma - Hachimura - Todd
  • C: Gafford - Bryant - Harrell - Tillman Sr

Poll

Poll

Trade KCP to Memphis for Melton, Tillman and Culver?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Yes, get younger, improve the defense, clear some future salary.
    (198 votes)
  • 43%
    No Deal, Memphis has 3 FRPs. Have to get one even if it’s late. Squeeze picks out of KCP, not just young players.
    (152 votes)
350 votes total Vote Now

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