The 2019 NBA trade deadline is in the books, and two of the busiest teams this season was the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. Their activity carried on throughout Thursday, as they swung multiple deals. And coincidentally, one of them was with each other.
Los Angeles Clippers: B+
Los Angeles receives:
- Garrett Temple
- JaMychal Green
The Clippers were incredibly active this week, and managed to make a number of smart, forward-thinking moves. First, they secured Landry Shamet and a number of picks, including the highly coveted 2012 Miami Heat first-round selection in the Tobias Harris deal. Then, they picked up a nice young frontcourt prospect in Ivica Zubac.
All the while, they opened up cap space for this summer, as they plan to make a run at some big-name free agents. Their latest deal goes even further to help them in that quest. At the same time, it should bolster their squad for this season, which could still end with a trip to the playoffs.
Avery Bradley’s time with the Clippers will be more memorable than his short stint with the Detroit Pistons, but that isn’t saying much. Bradley was a disaster at the end of last season after coming over in the Blake Griffin trade, and wasn’t much better this campaign. He’s still a solid defender, but his outside shot has fallen off, and he ate up a lot of minutes that could have gone to the Clips’ young backcourt prospects. In short, the Clippers won’t miss him.
In his place, they’ll get Temple and Green. At first glance, the veterans don’t appear to fit the direction the Clippers are going. However, this is some sneaky good business by the Clips. Temple is a player in the similar mold to Bradley, bit is more of a wing than a small guard, and has been shooting better this season. Green, meanwhile, will help fill the frontcourt void left by the departing Harris, Mike Scott and Marcin Gortat, who is being waived.
Both players can help the Clippers this season, and could help them secure a trip to the playoffs — though that will be a tough task without Harris. And if not, they’re both free agents after the season, which will free up roster spots and cap space for the Clippers. In short, a win-win.
Memphis Grizzlies: D
- Avery Bradley
The Grizzlies were just as active as the Clippers during the days in and around the trade deadline. As the season fell apart, they finally came to the realization that there was no point in continuing to build the team around Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, and they put both on the block. In the end, only Gasol was moved, shipped to the Raptors for a bit of a disappointing package.
Another deal they made, as they begin tearing things down, was this one with the Clippers. While you may disagree with moves teams make, you can usually at least figure out their thought process. Not so with this trade for the Grizzlies, which is a puzzling one.
Temple was a wise pick-up over the summer, and had been putting together a decent season with the Grizzlies. They were trying to make the playoffs this season, and he made sense as a veteran role player. He’s set to be a free agent, though, and there was no reason to keep him around the rest of the season. Green, likewise, is heading into free agency, and trying to get something for him before he becomes a free agent also makes sense.
The confusion doesn’t come from the Grizzlies’ decision to move Temple and Green, but rather their return. They got Bradley from the Clippers, another veteran guard on the downside of his career, who doesn’t figure to be in their long-term plans. They were never going to get a great haul for that duo, but even a few second-round picks would have made more sense than this. Temple and Green were going to be unrestricted free agents anyway, so this can’t even qualify as a salary dump.
Bizarre way for the Grizzlies to close out their day.