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Report: Grizzlies interested in trading for Heat’s Mario Chalmers

Mario Chalmers, Courtney Lee, Jon Leuer

Mario Chalmers, Courtney Lee, Jon Leuer


The Grizzlies have a good starting point guard in Mike Conley – at least for now.

They have an adequate backup in Beno Udrih.

But they’re looking to fortify the position with… Mario Chalmers?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Heat have been trying to give away Chalmers for months in attempt to lower their luxury-tax bill. The Grizzlies can’t just absorb him, but they could at least reduce Miami’s payroll.

I’d guess Memphis would look to trade Udrih if Chalmers is incoming. The Heat might also want Udrih as veteran insurance behind Goran Dragic in case neither Tyler Johnson nor Josh Richardson are ready to be the full-time backup point guard.

But Udrih-for-Chalmers wouldn’t work as a one-for-one trade. Including Russ Smith or JaMychal Green (whose salary is just $150,000 guaranteed) would make salaries match and still trim the Heat’s impending tax bill.

If Udrih needn’t be included, Memphis could trade Vince Carter or Matt Barnes straight up for Chalmers. But the Grizzlies would also be creating a new problem by sacrificing wing depth.

Memphis’ biggest short-term need is outside shooting. Udrih’s ability to shoot a high percentage doesn’t extend past mid-range. But Chalmers hasn’t shot well from beyond the arc since LeBron James left. If Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can’t attract enough attention to get Chalmers open, I wouldn’t count on Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph doing it.

This is a curious fit, but there’s at least enough wiggle room to see a deal getting done.