Anthony Morrow has become the latest name linked with O.J. Mayo in a trade. Reports surfaced on Monday that the New Jersey Nets are in talks with the Memphis Grizzlies about trading the two players, according to the New York Post. With the Grizzlies having already made a few deals to plug holes in their frontcourt, one might wonder if this would be too much.
The trade talks involving Morrow and Mayo seem to be in the preliminary stages. The Nets have made a couple of different offers, with one offer including Morrow and another one including Jordan Farmar, cash and a draft pick, according to The Commercial Appeal. Still, a deal isn't close to happening.
A Morrow trade would fit current Grizzlies needs, but Kris Humphries would help more. Morrow, a 45 percent three-point shooter, would improve a Grizzlies team lacking three-point options. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have been searching for a reliable power forward presence with Darrell Arthur out for the season with a torn Achilles and Zach Randolph down for several weeks with a partial MCL tear.
Kris Humphries Would Upgrade Grizzlies Frontcourt
The Humphries trade possibility would address a more important issue for the Grizzlies. Humphries is a double-double threat, averaging 14.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season. Last season, he was a 10-and-10 guy for the Nets, his fourth team.
His inside presence would be terrific for the Grizzlies, which have been struggling to fill the holes left by Randolph and Arthur at power forward. The Grizzlies have acquired Marreese Speights, Quincy Pondexter and Dante Cunningham to fill the gap.
Cunningham started a few games after Randolph went down. However, Cunningham only shoots 47.5 percent and averaged five points per game.
Pondexter isn't a big contributor as he averages 4.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game while shooting 46.6 percent.
Speights has come along with the Grizzlies. In his last six games, Speights is averaging 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. However, he sometimes fades and has shot only 41.9 percent this season.
Humphries is a much more accurate shooter, hitting 53.4 percent from the field while also nailing 75.4 percent at the line.
Having two big men in Humphries and Marc Gasol knocking down shots consistently with Randolph out would be wonderful for the Grizzlies.
Locker Room Considerations
Then again, one must consider the impact on team chemistry. While some might laugh at the thought of this stopping a trade, the Grizzlies are a tight-knit team that relies heavily on cohesiveness. Mike Conley prepared the team for the season by organizing practices. One might wonder if more changes would adversely impact the team.
Also, with Humphries taking undue heat for his divorce with celebrity Kim Kardashian, the Grizzlies might not want to bring in the negative press.
However, winning games would likely put that negativity to rest.
Would Michael Heisley Be Willing to Loosen His Grip on Mayo?
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has been unwilling to trade Mayo in the past. Heisley told The Commercial Appeal in an interview that he didn't want to trade Mayo, but allowed general manager Chris Wallace to explore deals that might bring value.
A handful of trade rumors have surfaced involving Mayo. A deal that would have sent Mayo to the Indiana Pacers for Josh McRoberts died after Tony Allen spread a false trade report via Twitter. Last season, Mayo surfaced in a trade rumor involving the Chicago Bulls, as well as a possible three-way deal in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks.
In the summer, Chicago Now floated a possible trade of Mayo to the Bulls for Taj Gibson or Omer Asik.
Since nothing has come to fruition to this point, Heisley might be entirely unwilling to let Mayo go.
Conclusion: Nets Must Sweeten Deal to Make It Happen
Michael Heisley is a difficult man to impress. He didn't become a billionaire by letting people low-ball him. Knowing how impactful Mayo is in the Grizzlies offense and how much Heisley likes his talent, the Nets will need to put forward an impressive deal.
With the Nets clearing salary in hopes of acquiring Dwight Howard, they might stand to give more than just Morrow. Perhaps the Nets would be willing to offer Humphries, Morrow and cash for Mayo. That could get the job done.
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