Memphis Grizzlies trades at the deadline include trading for Shane Battier from the Houston Rockets and trading away O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers. This is a set of moves that could actually make the Grizzlies a much better team on the court, especially on the defensive end. They will have to make an important decision about re-signing Battier at the end of the season, but these deals make them a team that could really contend in the 2011 Western Conference Playoffs.
In the first deal Memphis worked out today, they traded with Houston for small forward Shane Battier. In order to get Battier, Memphis gave up Hasheem Thabeet and a first round draft pick. This appears to be a winning deal for Memphis because they give up a player who wasn’t a major part of the rotation and a pick that might not pan out. Getting Battier gives them a really impressive player on defense, and what many consider to be one of the most underrated players in the game. The reason Houston was willing to part with him is because Battier is a free agent at the end of the current season.
In the other trade, Memphis hooked up with the Indiana Pacers to pull off another deal, in this one sending out O.J. Mayo. In return, the Grizzlies pick up a first round pick and forward Josh McRoberts, giving them another chance at picking up the draft selection they traded to Houston earlier in the day. McRoberts could be someone who provides a lot of value off the bench for the Grizzlies as well, making this almost a wash in the category of immediate value. For fans of Mayo, this may not seem like an even trade, but Memphis was ready to move on without Mayo; this seems to have been the best option on the table.
The Memphis Grizzlies just made two huge moves to improve their team for a race at the NBA Playoffs, and it could be enough to guarantee them one of the playoff spots. Coming into Thursday night’s games in the NBA, Memphis has a 32-27 record and has a half game lead for the eighth spot in the West. It’s going to be a tough battle for those final playoff slots, and with Memphis getting Battier back, they are going to improve what has already been a really good team. It’s not clear if Battier will start right away for that team, but he could also be a stopper to come off the bench in situations that call for veteran leadership.
More From YCN: