The first big trade of NBA Draft week is here. The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are on the verge of getting a deal done that would swap several players and picks between the two, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
If completed, the Grizzlies will land Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe and the Nos. 10 and 40 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Pelicans, meanwhile, would receive Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 and 51 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.
There’s a lot to unpack here. The Pelicans upgraded at center and improved their position in the first round, going from No. 17 to No. 10. The Grizzlies now have two veteran players in Adams and Bledsoe to surround their young core of Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks.
Who won the trade? New Orleans appears to have the upper hand here.
BREAKING: Memphis is finalizing a trade to send Jonas Valanciunas and 2021 Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2021 picks Nos. 10 and 40 and a protected 2022 first-round pick via the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2021
This is the first trade of what could prove to be a wild week within the NBA. The draft commences this Thursday.
The Grizzlies are looking to build upon what was a terrific season. They took down the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament and then stunned the one-seed Utah Jazz in the first game of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but proceeded to lose four straight.
Memphis is on the verge of adding two veteran role players in Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe averaged 12.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last season. Adams, meanwhile, poured in 7.6 points per game to go along with 8.9 rebounds.
The Pelicans, on the flip side, are getting one of the better true centers in the game today in Jonas Valanciunas. He scored 17.1 points per game with 12.5 rebounds during the 2020-21 campaign.
This probably won’t be the last trade we see take place within the NBA this week.