While the Celtics continue the complete rebuilding effort that they hope will deliver the 18th NBA championship somewhere down the line, the Grizzlies are reportedly turning up the heat in pursuit of their first in franchise history.
Marc Stein of ESPN first reported that Memphis will trade veteran Tayshaun Prince’s expiring $7.7 million contract and future first round draft pick to Boston for forward Jeff Green.
It is possible, sources say, that Boston and Memphis will recruit a third team to join the final trade construction, but one source told ESPN.com that the trade will “most likely” happen with or without a third team.
Green was scheduled to start for Boston at Indiana but did not take the floor with his teammates and was ultimately pulled from the starting lineup and replaced by Jae Crowder.
Prince, meanwhile, was informed of the looming trade by Memphis officials but is expected to play for the Grizzlies in their Friday night game at New Orleans, which would pose no real issues for the Celtics because they’re essentially taking him back for Green because he possesses an expiring contract.
After starting out the season a sizzling 21-4 and zooming to challenge Golden State at the top of the Western Conference standings, the Grizzlies have hit a skid recently with Zach Randolph sidelined by injured and lost six of the 10 games heading into Friday night.
Memphis has been searching for offensive help at the small forward position for the past two seasons and the 28-year-old Green is currently having the best season of his career, averaging 17.6 points per game.
The Celtics had earlier announced a trade that sent recently acquired Brandan Wright to Phoenix for a conditional first round draft pick and created a $5 million trade exception in the process.
The Grizzlies turned their attention to Green after failing to in a bid to engage the Heat in talks for Luol Deng.