Grizzlies/Pelicans Trade: Jonas Valanciunas Heads to New Orleans

The first big trade heading into this week's NBA Draft sees the Memphis Grizzlies send center Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 & 51 picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in return for centre Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe and picks #10 and 40. 

As we reported last week, the Pelicans were ready to trade one or both of Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe. Now they're both off to Memphis. 

As per Adrian Wojnarowski, this trade allows the Pels cap space to either retain Lonzo Ball, or, more likely, pursue a free agent point guard of their choice, like Kyle Lowry. 

In addition, New Orleans likes the spacing that Valanciunas offers, next to Zion Williamson. Not many teams will be able to boast the up-front scoring and sheer power of JV and Zion.

On the Grizzlies side, they get a big presence at the '5' to replace Valanciunas, while also moving up 7 spots in the draft this Thursday. They also receive a top-10 protected 2022 draft pick (via the Los Angeles Lakers).

Bledsoe is not expected to be in Memphis very long, as rumors have already revealed that he'll be moved elsewhere by the Grizz. 

And here we go. Things just getting started heading up to Thursday night's draft.

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports