4 Biggest Memphis Grizzlies Trades

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Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA game in November 2013.
(Wikimedia Commons/Verse Photography)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Aug 02, 2023, 4:48 PM
  • Here's a list of the biggest Memphis Grizzlies trades in franchise history.
  • Pau Gasol leads the list of players Memphis received through trade.
  • Other notable players the Grizzlies acquired were Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Marcus Smart.

The Memphis Grizzlies is one of the relatively new teams in the NBA, as they joined the league in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies. Although they aren’t consistent favorites to win a title in basketball odds and are one of the NBA teams never to reach the Finals, they were able to qualify for the playoffs multiple times since the franchise moved to Memphis in 2001. This success was primarily because of the trades they made.

Memphis’ most recent big trade was the acquisition of 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. This trade was also part of the Boston Celtics’ biggest trades, which included the Washington Wizards in a three-team deal. Aside from Smart, who among the Grizzlies superstars was acquired via trade and altered the fate of the franchise? Here’s a top-four list.

Pau Gasol

A year after moving to Memphis, the Grizzlies made their first major trade in 2001 when they received the third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft Pau Gasol, Lorenzen Wright, and Brevin Knight for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and the 27th pick in that year’s draft. The third overall pick in the 2001 draft was the first official superstar of the franchise, and he became the team’s starting center.

Gasol won the Rookie of the Year award for Memphis with his freshman average of 17.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. In his seven seasons with the team, the 7-foot-1 big man spearheaded the Grizzlies’ three playoff campaigns from 2004 to 2006; unfortunately, they were swept in the opening round on all those occasions.

Marc Gasol

When Memphis traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers in 2008, they received the rights for his younger brother, Marc Gasol, who they officially signed in July 2008. Besides Marc, the Grizzlies also acquired Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, and two-first round picks. The younger Gasol almost instantly filled the void that his older brother left.

The 6-foot-10 center was part of the “Grit and Grind” era of the franchise along with Mike Conley and Tony Allen. Gasol also helped Memphis clinch six playoff campaigns in his 11-year stay, where he accumulated 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 769 games. Marc Gasol’s tenure with the Grizzlies culminated with three NBA All-Star selections and a Defensive Player of the Year award.

Zach Randolph

Another key player in the “Grit and Grind” era of the Grizzlies was Zach Randolph, who was acquired by the team via trade from the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009 for Quentin Richardson. The Clippers initiated the move because they were grooming their 2009 first overall pick to be the starting power forward, which Randolph played for them the season prior.

The 19th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft seamlessly found his role in Memphis as he provided a double-double stat line and became the veteran presence in the locker room. Because of his Grizzlies average of 16.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 551 games across eight seasons, they were able to reach the postseason seven times. Additionally, “Z-Bo” was selected for two All-Star Games.

Marcus Smart

Memphis’s most recent trade was the addition of Marcus Smart after a three-team trade with Boston and Washington in 2023. The team gave up Tyus Jones and their 25th overall pick in the 2023 draft to acquire the defensive guard. Smart spent his first nine seasons in the league with the Celtics, who drafted him as the sixth overall pick in 2014.

The 6-foot-4 guard will give Memphis another elite defender who can guard multiple positions, a reliable playmaker, and a decent three-point shooter. Smart also brings his toughness and winning experience to the young team that badly needs a veteran presence. A new big three of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Smart have created a new era for the Grizzlies.

4 Biggest Memphis Grizzlies Trades

YearPlayer AcquiredTrade Details
2001Pau GasolGrizzlies received: Pau Gasol, Lorenzen Wright, and Brevin Knight / Hawks received: Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Jamaal Tinsley
2008Marc GasolGrizzlies received: Marc Gasol, Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, and a first-round pick / Lakers received: Pau Gasol and a second-round pick
2009Zach RandolphGrizzlies received: Zach Randolph / Clippers received: Quentin Richardson
2023Marcus SmartGrizzlies received: Marcus Smart / Celtics received: Kristaps Porzingis and two first-round picks / Wizards received: Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and a second-round pick

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.