The future of Memphis is incredibly bright with Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. leading the way. With that said, it certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone within the Grizzlies organization if Ja and JJJ are playing in the 2021 All-Star Game. Both youngsters are tremendously talented and hard workers.
With the way the 2019-20 season ended, odds are the two youngsters are going to come back stronger and hungrier than ever in 2020-21. However, it wouldn’t hurt to get more talent around them this offseason and accelerate the franchise’s timeline.
With that said, here are three players the Grizzlies should try and trade for this offseason.
1. Bradley Beal
The Washington Wizards have said time and time again Bradley Beal isn’t available, especially since John Wall will be back in the lineup in 2020-21 after missing the entire 2019-20 season recovering from his Achilles tear.
However, it can’t hurt the Grizzlies to at least gauge what it would take from the Wizards to get Beal, one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. Memphis could create a lethal Big 3 of Morant, Jackson Jr. and Beal and become serious players in the Western Conference.
The open looks from 3 that Beal would get playing alongside Morant and Jackson Jr. would be almost unfair. Both Ja and JJJ attract multiple bodies when they attack the rim. Defenders will have to make a choice of either helping on Morant and Jackson Jr.’s drives or staying on Beal at the 3-point line.
Either way, the Grizzlies are going to be dangerous. If you allow Beal any space beyond the arc, he’s going to hit it more often than not. Meanwhile, Morant and Jackson Jr. usually get to the basket at will as it is. Playing with a sniper such as Beal would create more driving lanes and space for the two athletes to attack.
2. Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday is already playing the two-guard spot on the New Orleans Pelicans since the team has Lonzo Ball playing the point.
With that said, the Grizzlies could certainly play Morant and Holiday together in the backcourt. It would be an explosive and feisty guard tandem since both players enjoy playing defense.
Holiday would get plenty of catch-and-shoot opportunities with the Grizzlies playing off of Morant, who is consistently attacking the rim and keeping defenses on their heels. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins could do some creative things on offense and defense with the two as his main cogs upfront and Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke essentially manning the back-half.
Holiday averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists for the Pelicans in 2019-20. Not only can he be a great mentor to Morant, but Holiday can also help close games for the Grizzlies.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
What if Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t accept the supermax extension from the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason? If it happens, the Bucks may have to entertain the possibility of moving Giannis since they can’t lose him in 2021 and not get anything in return.
If — and it’s a big if — Giannis become available via trade, the Grizzlies would be wise to call the Bucks and offer everyone and anything except for Morant and Jackson Jr. And if the Bucks do ask for either Morant or JJJ, they might have to deal the latter only because Morant’s playmaking skills are already elite at such a young age and he makes the game easier for guys with Giannis’ skill set.
Since there aren’t many (if any at all) superstars on the trade block, these are all hypothetical scenarios for the Grizzlies. While it’s fun to think about Memphis adding superstars next to Morant, the team they have in place right now is certainly one which can grow into something special.