The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to terms on a trade that will send point guard Eric Bledsoe, center Steven Adams, and the No. 10 overall pick to Memphis for pick 17, pick 51, and center Jonas Valanciunas.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the trade and followed up on his initial report with a note on how this is going to help the Pelicans in the long run.
New Orleans creates salary cap space for August that allows them to either match an offer sheet on Lonzo Ball, or have the cap space to pursue a significant free agent point guard, including Kyle Lowry and others. Pels liked Valanciunas as floor spacer at center over Adams, too. https://t.co/3YRyBTEg1S— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2021
For Memphis, the most coveted asset they’ll be bringing in is the first-round pick. The top-ten pick should net them a player like Duke’s Jalen Johnson or Baylor’s Davion Mitchell.
There are a plethora of options they’ll have, and they clearly view that jumping the seven picks is worth bringing a couple of player-friendly contracts. One of those contracts that they’ll be adding is Bledsoe’s.
The former Wildcat is set to make over $18 million the last two seasons of his contract. While he has notched double figures for eight straight seasons, his production hasn’t been of an eight-figure player.
This will be Bledsoe’s fourth team in five years. Since leaving Phoenix, Bledsoe hasn’t found much consistency in his role within the franchises he’s found himself on. He hasn’t helped himself much though, shooting just 42.1% from the field this past season.
Overall, this is a win-win deal as both sides relieve themselves of assets they feel are expendable and bring in players or picks they value for the long-term future.
That said, there’s potential that this is just one of several trades that comes to fruition over the next few days. The NBA Draft is currently scheduled for July 29 and will be followed by the league’s free agency period kicking off on August 6.
In fact, Yahoo reporter Chris Haynes says that Bledsoe is not expected to remain in Memphis.
Eric Bledsoe, who New Orleans included in a trade package, is not expected to stay in Memphis, league sources tell @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 26, 2021
So you may want to hold off on buying those Eric Bledsoe Grizzles jerseys for the time being.