Memphis Grizzlies Reportedly Interested in Harrison Barnes Trade

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes takes court against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

If Harrison Barnes finishes this season with the Golden State Warriors, it won't be for lack of the Memphis Grizzlies and other NBA teams attempting to ensure otherwise.

With the Grizzlies seeking perimeter upgrades, USA Today's Sam Amick says their quest is now Oakland-bound:

Memphis may want to get in line. 

Barnes has struggled this season in his new sixth-man role for the Warriors, but he's a top-seven pick with superstar upside. It's going to take more than a rainy day's reserve to whisk him away from Golden State.

The Warriors have reportedly already told Barnes that, "barring a blockbuster offer," he's not going anywhere before the Feb. 20 trade deadline, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears.

This isn't to say he's completely off limits. Amick himself indicated the Warriors have only two untouchable players on their roster in Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut. Everyone else is fair game.

As an athletic swingman with defensive potential still on his rookie deal, Barnes is exactly what the typically frugal Grizzlies are looking for. Problem is, they have little to offer Golden State.

Who does Memphis have that Golden State would want?
Who does Memphis have that Golden State would want?Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Memphis doesn't have many young prospects that would intrigue the Warriors, unless they're interested in Ed Davis. More importantly, the Grizzlies don't have the available pieces necessary to satisfy the Warriors' preference to deal Barnes within a blockbuster.

Aside from Davis, the Grizzlies' best bargaining chip would be the injured Tony Allen, in whom Golden State is unlikely to have interest. The Grizzlies don't have imminent draft picks to offer the Warriors, either. Per RealGM, they owe a 2015 first-rounder to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a protected commitment that could realistically wind up dragging out until 2018.

Unless the Grizzlies are able to find a third team to facilitate this deal, they're better off turning their attentions elsewhere.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported they were talking with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a possible trade built around Chase Budinger and J.J. Barea. Brokering some version of that deal is a far more realistic option than nabbing Barnes is.

"I'm not going to front," Barnes said of his role with the Warriors just before the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday in New Orleans, per Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson. "It's been a challenge."

Not nearly as challenging as it will be for the Grizzlies, and any other interested teams, to pry Barnes away from the Warriors.