When a team needs to dump some salary, the popular idea across the NBA that past few years seems to be calling Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie. That trend has apparently continued into this season.
On Tuesday, ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to swap Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis, but the Heat were looking for a third team to absorb one of their two new contracts.
Enter Philadelphia, who according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt, were targeted as a potential third party, but could not find any common ground with Miami.
Sixers were a team targeted to faciliate in Heat-Grizzlies trade but involved parties couldn't make it work.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) November 10, 2015
The Heat ended up completing the trade directly with the Grizzlies.
Udrih, 33, played in 79 regular season games for Memphis last season, and was a key contributor during their playoff run last year, averaging 7.6 points in 17.5 minutes per night. The native of Slovenia is due just $2,170,456 this season, and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Stokes was the 35th overall pick of the Grizzlies two seasons ago, and split time between Memphis and the Iowa Energy, their D-League affiliate. He played in 19 NBA games last year, where he averaged 3.0 points on 56.8% shooting and 1.8 rebounds per game. Stokes is due just over $845,000 this year, and $980,431 in 2016-17.
Miami already has four players getting legitimate front court minutes, plus Amar'e Stoudemire and Udonis Haslem as reserves, leaving little room for Stokes to get any meaningful minutes. The 21-year-old is the kind of cheap, young talent I anticipate Sam Hinkie would have coveted, but for whatever reason the two sides could not make it work.
Teams are at least still coming to Philadelphia when looking for help moving salary, and that should continue leading right up until the trade deadline in February.