If this exact trade wouldn’t be accepted by either the Hawks or the Grizzlies, there could be a different version of it that goes down.
While it’s admittedly not all that exciting for either Memphis or Atlanta, it would hardly be detrimental and would provide incremental cap relief and draft picks for each franchise. It’s a hard exercise, knowing that there would surely be other teams with more to offer for either Kent Bazemore or Marc Gasol, but if not, the Wolves could swoop in, offer marginal cap savings and draft picks, and improve their team in the process.
Bazemore would immediately upgrade the Wolves’ wing situation; if Atlanta felt strongly about Andrew Wiggins then there is absolutely a version of this deal that could be completed with him included. But either way, a four-man wing rotation of Wiggins, Covington, Okogie, and Bazemore would be potent, and that doesn’t even include Derrick Rose, who has been up-and-down with injuries all year.
The Hawks would pick up a second-rounder in the deal along with not having to worry about Bazemore picking up his player option next season, which also saves them $19.2 million on their books next year, not to mention the roughly $2 million they’d save this year by replacing Bazemore’s cap hit with Gibson’s.
The Grizzlies would save about $4.5 million for the rest of this season and about $9 million next year. They’d be adding one more year of Dieng onto their cap, but would also have the expiring $8.1 million from Bayless this summer to help free up some additional space.
Memphis would do this for the draft pick and the not-insignificant savings for the rest of this year and in 2019-20. Will there be better offers for Gasol? Probably, but this is a palatable, if unspectacular, idea for everyone involved.
At the end of the day, it’s admittedly unlikely that the Wolves would be able to land Gasol, but if they can make a run and shed a bit of salary along the way, why not try a Towns-Gasol frontcourt and see what happens?