According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Memphis has agreed in principle to a three-team trade with New Orleans and Philadelphia that would send Grizzlies’ guard Xavier Henry to New Orleans and bring 76ers’ center Marreese Speights to Memphis. Philadelphia would receive two future, second-round draft picks in the deal.
Memphis has needed increased front court depth since the beginning of the season, and that need has only been augmented by injuries to Zach Randolph (bruised knee; day-to-day) and Darrell Arthur (torn Achilles; out for season).
Speights is in his fourth season with Philadelpha after the 76ers picked him with the 16th selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. An imposing force at 6-foot-10, 245 lbs, Speights has not played this season. In his first three seasons with the 76ers, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Henry played in 38 games for Memphis last season, averaging four points and one board per contest. Henry was expected to help the Grizzlies with outside shooting upon returning from his injury; however, the Memphis front office decided adding more size up front was more important.
- I think this is a good move by Memphis. Dante Cunningham has been underwhelming since coming to the team and didn’t look good at all last night when starting in place of Zach Randolph. Though Speights has mostly been a disappointment since being in the league, his physical size is something Memphis needs.
- Henry may turn out to be a great player down the road, but Memphis is facing the franchise’s highest expectations ever this season and is more concerned with winning now than down the road. Because of that, Chris Wallace decided to sacrifice a better long-term prospect in Henry to fill an immediate need of the team.
Preston McClellan covers the Grizzlies for MemphiSport. Follow him on Twitter @p_mcclellan.
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