SF, Big Ideas, Ideology: What Is To Be Done?

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Memphis Grizzlies Receive: SF/PF Maurice Harkless, C Meyers Leonard, C Jusuf Nurkic, 2018 lottery-protected first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick (via Los Angeles Lakers or Minnesota Timberwolves)

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: C Marc Gasol, SF/PF James Ennis

Firing head coach David Fizdale, getting slammed by injuries and losing 18 of the past 21 games has not changed the Memphis Grizzlies' party line: They're not prepared to sell off Mike Conley and Marc Gasol for tanking's sake.

"We think our window is still very much open with Mike and Marc," general manager Chris Wallace told ESPN.com's Zach Lowe"I think we'll be heard from the rest of this year, and in years to come."

That's all well and good. But franchise aims shift quickly amid downward spirals. The Grizzlies will lose enough with Conley and Gasol to preserve their lottery odds. Keeping the former is the only play anyway. Conley has four years (including this one) and $126 million left on his deal. No team absorbs that, let alone surrenders value for it, when he's coping with Achilles issues.

Gasol is in slightly different territory. He has a player option for 2019-20, ahead of his age-35 season. His value only goes down from here. He's amenable to a trade, according to Lowe, and Memphis has to at least consider moving him when he'll be treated as an over-the-hill expiring contract in less than one year's time.

Extracting this combination of assets from the Portland Trail Blazers helps the Grizzlies straddle two windows. They won't be good enough to ruin this season's nosedive and are securing a pu-pu platter of assets that'll help them into 2018-19 and beyond. 

Jusuf Nurkic is a legitimate successor to Gasol. He's inferior in nearly every area of the game but remains a serviceable passer, post scorer and dropback rim protector. He doesn't turn 24 until August and shouldn't come close to costing the $72.3 million Gasol is owed through 2019-20. 

Maurice Harkless is a great hedge against Tyreke Evans' upcoming free agency. He cannot jumpstart pick-and-rolls in volume, and his shooting is shaky. But he has hit threes at or around the league average in the past and remains a defensive pest on the wings. The Grizzlies should have no trouble swallowing Meyers Leonard's contract if it means getting a first-rounder. He's shooting 53.8 percent from deep (7-of-13) in limited action, and they can try grooming him in the image of a souped-up Jarell Martin.

Portland shouldn't have to think long or hard about this deal. Shedding Leonard and avoiding Nurkic's next contract offsets what they'll pay Gasol, and he's an ideal big for head coach Terry Stotts' conservative defensive approach. He doesn't need to be especially mobile to protect the house while dropping back.

Committing around $90 million to Gasol, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Evan Turner is no joke. But again: The Blazers are on the cusp of cannonballing into similar territory next season. They might as well pay Gasol what Nurkic and Leonard will combine to make through each of the next two years, then revisit their direction in 2020, when both Big Burrito and Turner are off the ledger.


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Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2749175-nba-trade-ideas-from-latest-buzz-how-to-move-gasol-jordan-mirotic-and-others

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