4. Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies entered the 2020-21 season with high expectations, as they came close to landing the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race last season, before ultimately falling short to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies were expected to be even better in year two of the Ja Morant-Jaren Jackson Jr. led bunch, but it hasn’t exactly gone that way.
After just 21 games, Memphis is 10-11 and finds themselves just 1.5 games ahead of the Rockets, who have lost six of their last seven games and are currently riding a five-game losing streak. The Grizzlies rank 19th in offensive rating and are hovering around the league average in 3-point percentage, which Ben McLemore could change.
The Houston Rockets sharpshooter previously played for the Grizzles, albeit in a different regime. The Grizzlies rank 24th in 3-point makes, making a McLemore trade a necessity for the front office, as he finished the 2019-20 season with the 13th-most threes, while playing fewer minutes than anyone ahead of him.
As McLemore is on an expiring deal, the Grizzlies wouldn’t have to make a long-term commitment to the sharpshooter, although his age should present an intriguing argument for a long-term extension (depending on his asking price, of course). The Grizzlies could likely acquire McLemore by giving up their 2022 second-round pick to get McLemore, which could pay dividends for a team in need of offensive firepower.
Next: No. 3