Trade No. 3: Three-team deal with the Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies had a disastrous start to the season. With Ja Morant sidelined due to a 25-game suspension and their top two centers out for the season (or at least most of it), the Grizzlies couldn't afford any more absences. Instead, the Grizzlies have battled smaller injuries to nearly every player in their rotation, and Desmond Bane alone wasn't enough to keep them from plummeting in the standings.
Since Ja Morant returned, however, the Grizzlies suddenly have new life. They are 4-0 when Morant plays and have their key players mostly healthy. It's not out of the question that they try and seize the chance to improve their roster this season for a run at the Play-In Tournament by adding a player who can also be a part of what they are building beyond this season.
Could that make Jarrett Allen a trade target for them to consider? If so, assuming they won't be trading either Jaren Jackson Jr. or Desmond Bane, using the injured Steven Adams' contract would be a way to match salary. The Cavaliers aren't interested in taking back a center who won't be playing this year, however, so a third team will need to be pulled in.
Here's one idea for how a trade could look:
The Grizzlies give up Adams and Ziaire Williams, a solid defender whose offensive development has stagnated but who still offers some upside to develop into a reliable rotation player. They add on a first-round pick to make this worth Detroit's time. The Pistons get a veteran adult in the room in Adams to help develop their young bigs and a solid pick to use to chase forwards this summer.
Is this enough for the Cavaliers to trade Allen? Perhaps not, but Bojan Bogdanovic gives them a frontcourt scoring weapon who can be the fire to Evan Mobley's ice. They get a win-now veteran and a young forward to develop in exchange for Allen, as well as moving off of the salary of Ricky Rubio for this year and next.
None of these trades are perfect, but each are intriguing looks into the efforts of three teams in the same division trying to upgrade at center. Would any of these deals move the needle for the Cavaliers?