NBA trade grades: James Ennis a good add for Pistons as Grizzlies build for future

The Detroit Pistons may not have added any big names on Thursday (they already did that last week by trading for Blake Griffin), but they were active before the trade deadline.

First they got backup guard Jameer Nelson from the Bulls, and later they orchestrated a trade to pick up forward James Ennis III from the Grizzlies in exchange for Brice Johnson and a future second-round pick.

Let's grade this trade.

Detroit Pistons: A

Pistons receive:

  • James Ennis

The Pistons are trying to see if they can make an impact in this year's Eastern Conference playoffs, so adding a player like Ennis on an expiring $3 million contract makes total sense. He's a 6-foot-7 wing who can guard multiple positions, and is more than capable from beyond the 3-point line at 37 percent for his career. He could slot in for Reggie Bullock if he's having an off shooting night, and can cover up defensively for Blake Griffin against smaller lineups.

In return they only had to give up Johnson, who didn't even play in a game for the Pistons after coming over in the Griffin trade, and a future second-round pick that clearly doesn't concern them at this point. Overall Ennis was a good add at a cheap price, just what you're looking for out of a deadline deal.

Memphis Grizzlies: C

Grizzlies receive:

  • Brice Johnson
  • Lesser of Pistons/Bulls 2022 second-round draft pick

Well, this was clearly a case of Memphis wanting to get something rather than nothing. Ennis is on an expiring deal and the Grizzlies must have exhausted every other offer for him. So they end up with Johnson, who joins a crowded frontcourt with Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin, Brandan Wright, Deyonta Davis and Ivan Rabb. They did end up with a pick, however, which can always be used as a sweetener for another deal down the road if they don't end up using it.

If Ennis wasn't part of the Grizzlies future, it was smart to unload him while they could get something for him. You just wish they would have gotten a little more.

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