As far as this Memphis team goes, there’s not a whole lot it needs. It has its main core in Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley. It has good role players in Tony Allen, OJ Mayo, and Marreese Speights. Based off talent alone, there aren’t a lot of changes that they need to look at as they move forward into the season. The only changes that could take place would revolve around money.
More specifically, the money tied to OJ Mayo, for now and for the future. Mayo has one year left and his current contract is making him $5,632,637. The team has tried to dump him in the past, but have failed every time. It’s not that Mayo is bad value for what they are paying him, but that it is going to be tough to keep him in the years to come.
You don’t want to let him leave at the end of the year and get nothing back. So what could they do?
In the past, two teams involved in Mayo talks have been Indiana and New Jersey. I prefer what the Nets have to offer. If Grizzlies’ GM Chris Wallace could swing a deal that involves sending Mayo and seldom used Sam Young to Jersey in return for a package including Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar, that would be ideal. Morrow has never shot below 40% from the arc in his time in the NBA, and three point shooting is a need for this team. Farmar is a solid back up point guard, and a definite upgrade over Jeremy Pargo or Josh Selby.
Both of those players coming in carry 2 year contracts, which is also better than Mayo’s one year deal. Sam Young became obsolete the day the team acquired Pondexter, and hardly gets minutes. The only troubles I could see the team running into with this one is having to give up another player, maybe a Darrell Arthur. If that’s a requirement, then the Grizzlies would have to get back a pick to make the deal worth while.
Now for Indiana, the team that Mayo was traded to for about 15 minutes. The Grizzlies two needs are three point shooting and a back up point guard. Indiana can’t offer much in terms of sharp shooters, but they do have back up point guard George Hill.
Hill is a definite upgrade over Jeremy Pargo and Josh Selby at backup point guard, and could also play some time at the two while on the court with Michael Conley. If the Grizzlies could send the same package (Mayo/Young and maybe Arthur) and get back Hill and a first rounder, that would be acceptable.
The upcoming draft is extremely deep, and the more picks you can have in it the better your team will be in the future. If the Grizzlies could get a combo along the lines of Fab Melo and John Jenkins, that would be work wonders
. Either way, this is only speculation. These trades normally come out of no where and there is no promise that Mayo won’t just finish the season with the Grizzlies. The deadline is March 16, so the team has plenty of time. Expect to hear a lot of chatter in the coming weeks, but for the most part it will be just that, chatter.