Report: Grizzlies Trade Ben McLemore, Deyonta Davis to Kings for Garrett Temple

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

Memphis Grizzlies' Ben McLemore plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies will trade Ben McLemore, Deyonta Davis, a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward Garrett Temple, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.

The move sees McLemore return to Sacramento, where he spent the first four years of his career after the Kings selected him seventh overall in the 2013 NBA draft.

The move is a bit puzzling for the Kings.

McLemore didn't show much improvement over his Sacramento tenure, and some thought he might thrive in new surroundings. Instead, he averaged a career-low 7.5 points per game and shot 34.6 percent from three-point range with the Grizzlies. Memphis had a minus-13.2 net rating with him on the floor, per NBA.com.

Davis, on the other hand, was a productive player off the bench. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds while playing 15.2 minutes per game.

However, the Kings already had a crowded frontcourt before selecting Marvin Bagley III with the second overall pick in April. Assuming Bagley will be a key player for Sacramento, head coach Dave Joerger will have to find a way to get Davis, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein and Harry Giles meaningful minutes.

The Grizzlies are the unquestioned early winners from the trade.

Temple will likely move to shooting guard after Memphis signed Kyle Anderson to a four-year, $37.2 million deal. If that's the case, then Temple will be an upgrade over what the Grizzlies had at 2-guard in 2017-18 between McLemore, Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks.

Temple shot a career-high 39.2 percent on three-pointers last season, and his positional flexibility will be a luxury for a team that can't seem to avoid the injury bug.

As long as the Grizzlies have Marc Gasol and Mike Conley under contract, they can't afford to go into rebuilding mode. Swapping McLemore and Davis for Temple is a net positive for a team with playoff aspirations in 2018-19.