Photo Credit: SI
Co-Written by Louie Snyder and Braden Wagle
*This article will be continuously updated throughout the 2019 NBA Free Agency.
Over the next month, we will break down and grade each major NBA move, and what they could mean for the teams.
Mike Conley to Jazz
Jazz Recieve: Mike Conley
Grizzlies Recieve: 23rd Pick, Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, and a protected future 1st
Jazz Grades: Braden B+ / Louie B
Louie: Got another star to pair with Mitchell, but lost their best veteran presence. Conley should help fill that void. Gobert and Conley will make a great defensive duo, but the lack of cap space will make it really hard to improve this team anymore.
Braden: The Jazz needed another player to make them a real contender in the West. With the Warriors injured and Rockets breaking up the West is looking open. While the Lakers will be the favorites, the Jazz now has put themselves in the conversation with Portland and Thunder. Mitchell and Conley will be one of the best backcourts in the NBA and with Gobert anchoring the middle, this could be the best defensive team in the NBA. Giving up essentially 3 first round picks considering Grayson was their first a year ago will hurt, and Conley’s age and contract make the window for them small. It will be hard to get better if this does not work out. Overall a good trade, but could be an issue long term.
Grizzlies Grades: Braden B / Louie B+
Braden: The Grizzlies got a great deal for a 31-year old on a max contract. Conley is still a good player, but they are getting their franchise guard to pair with Jaren Jackson. Now they need solid role players around them. They have 2 first round picks to bring in guys who can be starters in the league, and try to hit on one more all-star, as well as Grayson who showed upside last season. Crowder will be a great guy in the locker room for this young team and is a good defender to help make up for Morant’s struggles. The Grizzlies are one of the teams that never likes to go into a full rebuild and with the new lottery structure tanking is not the best option. This gives them cap flexibility along with a chance to get more solid starters around Ja and Jaren. Crowder should help make them appealing enough for mid-level free agents. This trade also gave them well over $65 million next summer.
Louie: Much like Braden, I think Crowder is one of the best locker room guys to lead a young team. Conley’s big contract is off the books and the Grizzlies will be freer to build around Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson. The picks will be useful in building a consistent winner around the 2 franchise corner stones.
Anthony Davis Trade
Lakers Recieve: Anthony Davis
Pelicans Recieve: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, 3 First Round Picks, and swap rights in 2 more years.
Lakers Grades: Louie: A- / Braden: A-
Louie: Lakers got their second superstar to pair with LeBron and a star for the future after the LeBron era. Now they have a piece to lure more stars in now or later. They instantly become real contenders in the West and in win-now mode this was a must. It was maybe a lot of picks to give up, but the grade could move to an A if they get the Pelicans to wait until July 30th so they can afford Kemba or Kyrie.
Braden: I agree with everything Louie. One of the big factors for me were the unfortunate injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson really leave the west open. Even if they were to leave they would become new western threats, now there is no team in the NBA that has 3 superstars. I believe AD has become overrated over the years, but he still becomes the best 2nd star in the NBA. The lack of A only comes from reports that they were not willing to give up Kuzma. I don’t think Kuz fits with LeBron and Davis since he struggles to shoot; the worst shooter among those who took 5 attempts a game last year. I also believe LeBron is at his best when playing the 4 and becoming a mismatch, especially has his hamstring continues to bother him and his speed a little.
Pelicans: Louie: A / Braden: A+
Braden: The Pelicans got a GREAT haul for Anthony Davis, especially compared to Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and other stars traded. Getting Lonzo to pass to Zion is great. Ingram still has star potential I believe, and having Jrue to mentor them will be big. Not to mention a bunch of picks.
Louie: The Pelicans killed this trade. Getting young guys to work around Zion and a bunch of future picks while low, some could pan out. The 4th overall this year could be great if flipped for another vet to help these young guys. This team could compete now and for years to come.