The Grizzlies are closing on a trade that sends Jonas Valanciunas to the Pelicans in a multi-player deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports.
Memphis will send Valanciunas and the No. 17 and No. 51 overall picks to New Orleans in exchange for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, and multiple picks including the No. 10 overall pick in the draft. The Grizzlies will also receive the No. 40 overall pick as well as a protected 2022 first-rounder (originally from the Lakers; top-10 protected).
New Orleans had been attempting to get some of its pricier veterans off its books and now, they’ve accomplished that feat by trading Adams ($17.07 million) and Bledsoe ($18.13 million) away. The Pelicans are now in position to make a corresponding move whether that means re-signing restricted free agent Lonzo Ball or hitting more lofty goals like adding Kyle Lowry.
As for the Grizzlies, the deal foreshadows the team declining Justise Winslow’s $13 million team option. Memphis won’t be able to bring in the salaries of Adams and Bledsoe without doing so, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes.
With the No. 10 overall pick on hand, the Grizzlies may be targeting Australian guard Josh Giddey, according to multiple reports.