Bledsoe Not Expected to Remain With Memphis

Published July 26, 2021 at 11:22 PM

The Pelican traded Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams, along with picks, to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas and both of Memphis' picks in this year's draft. The Pelicans have been looking to offload the contracts of Adams and Bledsoe following their underwhelming campaigns this season,

It appears that they were desperate enough to clear their book that they were willing to trade their 10th pick for the 17th pick in addition to adding in a future 1st rounder. While perplexing at first, considering that Bledsoe and Adams may have been had for positive value elsewhere around the league, the trade makes sense given that the Pelicans are in search of a new playmaker. Earlier this offseason, it was reported that the Pelicans would not match a sizeable offer sheet for Lonzo Ball, but it now appears that the Pelicans may be willing to do so if they aren't willing to lure Kyle Lowry to New Orleans.

Memphis' reasons for completing the trade are less clear. Valanciunas was their best player for large portions of last season, and Adams is a clear downgrade. While they were able to secure better picks, Memphis had appeared to be gearing up to build a playoff-contending team, so making moves for the future wasn't a foreseeable outcome. Regardless, if the Grizzlies are able to flip Bledsoe for any positive value, the trade could prove to be massively successful.

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