A few days before the 2018 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly receiving “significant trade interest” regarding their No. 4 pick, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Michael Scotto of The Athletic reported that the Grizzlies are willing to trade their precious pick together with Chandler Parsons for a “consistent scorer” who could immediately help Marc Gasol and Mike Conley bring Memphis back to playoff contention. One of the ideal trade partners for the Grizzlies is the Portland Trail Blazers.
After being upset by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, rumors and speculations started to swirl that the Trail Blazers are planning to make a big roster move that involves Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum. With Lillard considered as the face of the franchise, most people believe that McCollum is the likely trade candidate in Portland. In their search for a “consistent scorer,” Tim Brown of Oregon Live believes McCollum would be a realistic trade target for the Grizzlies.
“The Trail Blazers have a player like that in CJ McCollum, but would Portland be interested in making a deal? The exchange would be a risky gamble for Portland who would be giving up their second-best player in hopes that a franchise-altering talent falls to them at the No. 4 spot. That may or may not happen, but there are some intriguing players that should be around at No. 4.”
Trading CJ McCollum to Grizzlies for the No. 4 pick and Chandler Parsons is undeniably a huge gamble for the Trail Blazers. McCollum is Portland’s second best player, and he’s one of the major reasons why the Trail Blazers remain as a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference in the last five years. However, it is a risk the Trail Blazers should be willing to take if they don’t want to stay as an average NBA team who is currently buried deep in luxury tax hell.
Despite having one of the highest payrolls in the league, the Trail Blazers’ only greatest achievement in the last five seasons was reaching the Western Conference Semifinals. The potential acquisition of the No. 4 pick could give them a young and talented player that could help them reshape their future, and once Parsons’ contract expires in the summer of 2020, the Trail Blazers could use the salary cap space to target another superstar that could boost their chance of competing for the NBA championship title.
Meanwhile, the suggested deal will be very beneficial for the Grizzlies as it would give them another superstar to pair with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol while allowing them to get rid of Parsons’ lucrative deal. If McCollum, Conley, and Gasol stay healthy throughout the season, it will not be a surprise if the Grizzlies manage to climb to the top of the Western Conference.