Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Woj: Grizzlies trade Urdih, Stokes for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 1:04 PM

click to enlarge Farewell, sweet Slovenian Hog & Hominy Prince. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Farewell, sweet Slovenian Hog & Hominy Prince.

In a move that has been rumored in one form or another for a week, but which most people seemed to have forgotten about, the Grizzlies have traded Beno Udrih and Memphis' own Jarnell Stokes to the Miami Heat in exchange for tiger killer Mario Chalmers and athletic forward James Ennis. The trade was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Udrih quickly became a fan favorite here, mostly by genuinely liking the city of Memphis and the fans, and his man-out-of-jail enthusiasm about being released from Mike Woodson's cratering Knicks was hard not to like. But this year, coming off an ankle surgery over the summer that hurt his conditioning, he's been a shoot-first point guard on a bench unit that needs him to find other guys, and he hasn't been shooting well enough for that to make sense as a long-term strategy. Stokes, for his part, was this close to being cut so the Grizzlies could sign Ryan Hollins, and while I still believe he can develop into an NBA rotation player, it won't be here, where there's a crowd in the frontcourt and an organization that doesn't bother to develop play young guys anyway.

Chalmers brings an increased offensive ability at the backup PG spot, theoretically improved 3-point shooting (at least enough that defenses might pay attention to him, unlikely though that may be), and he can play with Conley and the starters in a much more potent version of the Conley/Udrih and Conley/Calathes backcourts Joerger was fond of last season. Ennis, well, he hasn't played much, but when he does, he's been known to eliminate Rasual Butler from this plane of existence:

Seriously, though, Ennis brings athleticism at the forward spot (stop me if you've heard that before) and he's an intriguing, unpolished player who may or may not turn into something. The scouting reports I've read on him since seeing the original Woj tweet about the trade give me a James "Bloodsport" Johnson vibe, though hopefully without the 100% Insanity that made Johnson unplayable once he decided he was important.

The Grizzlies were destined to make a move at some point. This is a minor thing that could open up a few more offensive options and spread out their abysmal floor spacing. It's not a cure-all for the problems they're having right now, especially defensively, but replacing Udrih is probably a step in the right direction in that regard, as well. With 76 games left, we'll have plenty of time to see if it pays off—and plenty of time for the Grizzlies to continue to try to shift the roster.


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