The Memphis Grizzlies have apparently decided it’s time to go all in on a rebuild.
The team is open to trade offers on franchise cornerstones Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Memphis will consider dealing either or both of its veteran leaders, according to the report.
The Grizzlies are 19-28, good for 14th place in the Western Conference standings and 6.5 games out of what would be the eighth and final playoff spot.
Gasol, Conley have played together since 2008
Gasol, 34, was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers but has played his entire 11-season NBA career with the Grizzlies, joining the team in a 2008 trade package that included his brother Pau Gasol. He’s averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in Memphis while making three All-Star appearances.
The Grizzlies drafted Conley, 31, out of Ohio State with the No. 4 pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Like Gasol, he’s played his entire career with the Grizzlies, averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Veterans could be attractive to contenders
While both players are on the tail ends of their primes, they remain valuable NBA players who could attract some attention from contending teams. Conley is averaging 19.8 points and 6.1 assists this season, while Gasol is averaging 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds.
The Grizzlies got off to a hot start with a 12-5 record, but have struggled largely since the season’s opening weeks.
Make room for Jaren Jackson
Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 pick in the draft, has shown flashes of being a franchise player in a crowded front court that includes Gasol and JaMychal Green. Moving Gasol would open up more playing time for Jackson, a two-way player who averages 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 25.7 minutes per game.
The signal of a rebuild would also remove any pretense of trying to win this season and allow more room for Jackson to work through rookie struggles.
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