Join NBA odds analyst Megan Rochester as she takes a look at the three-team trade that went down on Monday between the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. Find out what these teams are planning for their 2014-2015 season.
The Western Conference stikes! On Monday morning, a rumored three-team trade between the Celtics, Grizzlies and Pelicans became official. Let's take a look at what exaclty happened during the trade and how it can impact your NBA picks for the future.
Grizzlies Hungry for a Title
Incoming: PG Jeff Green (from Celtics) and guard Russ Smith (from Pelicans)
Outgoing: PG Tayshaun Prince & protected first-round draft pick (to Celtics); Quincy Pondexter & future second-round pick (to Pelicans)
Memphis is not only looking to make it into the playoffs, they are looking to take the Western Conference Title and then the NBA Championship, and they are willing to take on some risk in the process.
The Grizzlies team needed to fill a gap on their wing in order to be a fully solid team on the floor come playoff time. Here’s the thing. They aren’t looking for a player to lift the roster. Their roster is solid. They are looking for a player who is going to fit their needs – and Jeff Green does just that. He’s a wing scorer who can create a shot on the inside jumper and outside three-pointer, which is something the Grizzlies squad has been missing since Rudy Gay got traded to the Raptors in 2013.
Sure, you’re saying to yourself “Green is NOT efficient enough to be a key player for the Grizzlies looking for titles.” And that may be true, but he’s a hell of a lot better than Tayshaun Prince. Next to Prince, Jeff Green looks like a god-send. Besides, he’s shooting an average of 17.6 points per game, and he has quick speed on the defense that will come in handy when starting players are exhausted defending big-name guys like Stephen Curry in the 4th quarter of the playoffs.
Building in Boston
Incoming: Forward Tayshaun Prince & first-round pick (from Grizzlies); 10th overall pick in 2012 Guard Austin Rivers (From Pelicans)
Outgoing: PG Jeff Green (to Grizzlies)
Ok, plain and simple, the Celtics are rebuilding. They are just no good right now and have fallen off the map in the Eastern Conference. So, really they made a smart move here. Jeff Green has a player option for his contract coming up this summer. Meaning, he can become a non-restricted free-agent, and most likely, he was not going to stay with the terrible Celtics team.
So, what did Celtics GM Danny Ainge do? He turned his losses into profits. Taking Green off the roster shedded off $36 million for cap room and also added yet another protected first-round draft pick to his massive pile of drafts he’s been accumulating throughout the season (he took a 1st and 2nd round pick from the Mavericks back in December for the Rajon Rondo deal).
Expect big things to come from this Boston team in the future, but this season, they are going to be worthless duds in NBA future odds markets.
Pelicans Return and Old Threat
Incoming: Quincy Pondexter & 2015 second-round pick (from Grizzlies);
Outgoing: Austin Rivers (to Celtics) and 2014 second-round pick PG Russ Smith (to Grizzlies)
The New Orleans Pelicans team is looking to ramp up their Wing game that has been completely ineffective so far this season. They are simply looking to accelerate their small-guard game. Pondexter is going to give them balance on the floor they are missing around the perimeter. He was a threat when playing with the Pelicans team in 2012-13 (shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc) and he will move and give the other shooters space as well as get back on the defense.
They also picked up a draft pick from the Grizzlies, but gave up some cap space in the process taking on a more expensive player, their options could still be more limited. Time will tell for the Pelicans in this trade, and it all falls on how well Pondexter does in the future for this team. If he shows to be the kind of player he was on their team two years ago, this could be a solid move for the Demps.