On Wednesday, the Sixers – who become the last team to play their home opener when they entertain Detroit on Friday – sent little-used forward Marreese Speights to Memphis as part of a three-team deal.
Here are the details, according to ESPN.com: “The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed in principle to the terms of a three-team trade with New Orleans and Philadelphia that will bring 76ers center Marreese Speights to the Grizzlies, according to sources with knowledge of the trade. The deal, on course to be completed later Wednesday, would send Memphis swingman Xavier Henry to the Hornets and two second-round picks to Philadelphia.”
The Sixers began the season with a five-game road trip that concludes Wednesday in New Orleans. Speights, a 6-10 forward-center who has been in and out of coach Doug Collins’ doghouse, did not play in any of the first four contests after falling behind rookie Nikola Vucevic in the rotation.
Speights is athletic and has shown medium range on his jumper. He also has shown through his three-plus seasons that he is highly uninterested in defending, which is why he had such a short leash with Collins.
That didn’t deter the Grizzlies, who are scrambling to maintain their depth and stay in the hunt in the deep Western Conference. Last month, they signed Dante Cunningham and traded for Quincy Pondexter in response to Darrell Arthur going down for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. The acquisition of Speights is to counter the bruised knee suffered Sunday by Zach Randolph, who may be a bit more than the day-to-day the Grizzlies are saying.
UPDATE: News release from Grizzlies says Randolph has a torn right MCL and will be out six to eight weeks.
The Sixers get back two second-round picks, which former GM Billy King put to pretty good use during his reign. Second-round picks either selected or acquired on draft day by King included Todd MacCulloch, Kyle Korver, Willie Green and Lou Williams. Rod Thorn will make those picks now.
The Grizzlies also sent the Hornets backup guard Xavier Henry. Both Henry and fellow guard Greivis Vasquez came to training camp with Memphis and now play for New Orleans.
UPDATE: Trade is official. Grizzlies also received a second-round pick from the Hornets. One pick going to Sixers is 2012 second-rounder, other is TBA.