We had Memphis Commercial-Appeal beat writer Ron Tillery on our radio show last week to discuss the numerous Grizzlies trade rumors that have been popping up, and Tillery stated that it would be idiotic for the Grizzlies to break up thir “Core Four” of Randolph, Gasol, Conley and Rudy Gay after finally becoming legitimate contenders after nearly a decade of futility in Memphis.
More on the trade from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: “A trade call to finalize the deal is scheduled for Tuesday. Reducing payroll both short- and long-term has been a goal of the new Grizzlies ownership and led to other trade talks involving Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph over the past several weeks. Speights averages 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds as a key big man off the bench for the Grizzlies but makes $4.2 million this season and has a player option at $4.5 million for next season. The Grizzlies owe Gay, Randolph and Marc Gasol nearly $50 million alone next year. Ellington is averaging 5.5 points in 40 games off the bench for the Grizzlies (26-14), who stand fourth in the Western Conference and second in the Southwest, five games behind the San Antonio Spurs. The Cavs were able to make the deal because they had more than $10 million in cap space in which to absorb Speights. That likely would mean the Grizzlies would receive a trade exception of more than $6 million that would be good for a year. Selby has played in only 10 games this season, averaging two points. Leuer has played in nine games, averaging 2.4 points.