It looks like the season is lost for the Memphis Grizzlies as they currently accompany the Los Angeles Lakers in the bottom of the Western Conference standings, both with a 12-27 record. The Grizzlies have not recovered from the 11-game losing streak they suffered earlier in the season and the roster status of the squad has been on a downward trend since then.
Starting point guard Mike Conley is still out as he continues to recover from his Achilles injury. Conley is reportedly planning to make a return sometime this season, but there is no clear timetable for his potential comeback.
Another starter, small forward Chandler Parsons, is also sidelined by recurring knee issues. The 29-year-old, seven-year veteran missed Tuesday’s practice and will not be available against the New Orleans Pelicans at home on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, team leader and starting center Marc Gasol has been in the middle of trade rumors since former head coach David Fizdale was fired by the Grizzlies in November. Gasol said in December that he would be “open” to a trade elsewhere, but he would not initiate anything and will leave it all up to the management.
While Gasol continues to be mentioned in the latest trade speculations, recent reports said that Memphis “still plans on keeping” him for the foreseeable future, as per Clutch Points.
One name being talked about in the Grizzlies’ rumor mill right now is that of starting shooting guard Tyreke Evans, who presently has been producing the highest numbers of his career since his rookie year.
Evans, 28, averages 19.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.1 steals in 30.8 minutes per game for the Grizzlies this season, which are significantly higher than his stat line of 9.5 points, 3.3 boards, 3.5 assists, and 0.9 steals a night last season for the New Orleans Pelicans.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 8, 2018
Evans has clearly resuscitated his career after signing with Memphis as a free agent last summer. While he seemed to have found a home with the Grizzlies, his remarkable performances have also caused him to become the team’s No. 1 trade asset at the moment.
NJ Advance Media‘s Zack Rosenblatt reported that the Sixers are looking to add a veteran with an affordable salary to their side. One of Rosenblatt’s suggestions is a trade with the Grizzlies centered on Evans.
Rosenblatt said that Memphis would be “seeking” a first-round draft pick in exchange for Evans. He then noted that the Sixers might hesitate if it involves a first-rounder, except if the Grizzlies would accept Jerryd Bayless’ $8.6 million contract or if the Sixers is able to place a top-18 or top-20 protection to the pick.
Evans is currently enjoying the highest usage rate and the lowest turnover rate of his career, according to CBS Sports. He is also shooting a career-high 41.6 percent from three-point range and sinking 47.1 percent from the field, the second highest in his career.
However, Evans’ incredible season with the Grizzlies has been overshadowed by the team’s recent struggles, which means he could only be “playing his way out of town,” the report said.