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Grizzlies Send Tyus Jones and Two First Round Picks for Marcus Smart

The NBA offseason has officially kicked off as the Memphis Grizzlies have traded Tyus Jones to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal also includes the Grizzlies sending their 25th overall pick in this year’s draft and their 2024 first-round pick to Boston. 

The news comes in light of the Boston Celtics conducting a three-team deal with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers initially, but the deal fell apart shortly after. 

Talks were revived as the Grizzlies entered into the conversation, which led to the Celtics receiving All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis. 

Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension for the beginning of next season put the Grizzlies in the mindset of finding a guard that can hold the spot down until his return. It had been said from multiple sources that the Grizzlies would look to move Tyus Jones to a team that would value him as a starter rather than someone coming off the bench. 

Jones spent four seasons in Memphis coming off the bench for Morant. In his time, the 2015 first-round selection established himself as one of the best guards coming off the bench, as well as producing a career year this past season with 10.3 points per game and 5.2 assists per game.  

With the move, Memphis sends away a veteran guard for another veteran guard with a Defensive Player of the Year award and more playoff experience. 

It was evident that the Grizzlies would search for someone to replace the defensive prowess of Dillon Brooks. With the acquisition of Marcus Smart, it looks like Memphis is on the right track as they get a solid three-and-D guard in the lineup. 

Smart averaged 11.5 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, and 6.3 assists per game to go along with 1.5 steals per game last season for Boston. 

The 2021-22 DPOY brings an attitude that the city can get behind as he is one of the grittiest players in the league. Smart brings experience as he was an NBA Finals runner-up in 2022, and he has shown his ability as a great mentor, making the Celtics one of the best defensive teams in the league. 

A tandem of Smart and recent DPOY Jaren Jackson Jr. will put the league on notice as they stand out in a league that is driven by three-and-D play. 

It will be interesting to see what else the Grizzlies have planned this offseason, but fans can be more optimistic than usual as the team makes early moves. 

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