Grizzlies to Trade Jonas Valanciunas to Pelicans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, No. 10 Pick
The first Woj bomb of the 2021 NBA offseason has dropped.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Memphis Grizzlies are finalizing a trade that will send center Jonas Valanciunas and both the No. 17 and No. 51 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the No. 10 and No. 40 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as well as a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick (via the Los Angeles Lakers).
BREAKING: Memphis is finalizing a trade to send Jonas Valanciunas and 2021 Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2021 picks Nos. 10 and 40 and a protected 2022 first-round pick via the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2021
The Pelicans are now free of the $17 million remaining on Bledsoe’s contract.
According to Wojnarowski the deal allows New Orleans to free up salary cap space for August in which they have two options: match an offer sheet on point guard Lonzo Ball or keep the cap space to pursue a productive point guard in a free agency stacked full of them.
Woj also states the Pelicans are intrigued by Valanciunias’ ability to space the floor at center over Adams, a more traditional pivot who averaged 7.6 points and 8.9 boards per game in his lone season with New Orleans.