The Memphis Grizzlies have reportedly moved up seven spots in the upcoming Draft and it could have immediate implications for a rising Aussie star.
The New Orleans Pelicans are said to be finalising a trade that will see Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe and two future first-round picks sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas and the 17th and 51st overall pick.
That is according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported the movement on Tuesday morning and added one of the two future first-round picks from the Pelicans will be the 10th overall in this week’s NBA Draft.
For New Orleans, this deal allows it to create salary cap space having acquired Adams and Bledsoe last offseason, which makes the Pelicans an even more intriguing prospect in the upcoming free agency period with the future of Lonzo Ball up in the air.
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The addition of Valanciunas will also help stretch the floor for Zion Williamson given his superior 3-point shooting ability compared to Adams.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports Bledsoe is not expected to stay put at the Grizzlies though. He averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season.
Meanwhile, Adams still has two years remaining on his contract but along with Bledsoe could be used in the future for salary matching purposes should Memphis eye another trade.
The most immediate question though is what the Grizzlies’ plans are with that No.10 pick and whether there is certain prospect they are interested in.
Having earned a playoffs berth last season, upgrading the 17th-overall spot will allow Memphis to add another quality piece with a high ceiling to become an even more competitive team.
Trading up to the 10th-overall spot, per reports, is part of the Grizzlies’ plans to target Aussie Josh Giddey.
Giddey made a strong impression in the NBL with his combination of athleticism and ball handling and has been closely watched by a number of top-end NBA front office executives.
Bob Myers (Golden State Warriors), David Griffin (New Orleans Pelicans) and Masai Ujiri (Toronto Raptors) were all in attendance for his most recent game – an exhibition match for the Boomers against Nigeria.
Giddey is highly rated as the best prospect out of Australia since Ben Simmons and has been rated by ESPN as a possible No.13 pick.