MEMPHIS, TN -- The Memphis Grizzlies have added to their bench depth by acquiring Mario Chalmers via trade. The Grizzlies were upset with their poor performance that they were receiving from their backup point guard Beno Udrih, so they decided to upgrade him through a trade. The Miami Heat wanted to dump Chalmers' salary in order to save $6 million in luxury tax savings. The Heat received Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes in exchange for Mario Chalmers and a second-round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Memphis acquired the expiring contract of Mario Chalmers so that they could improve their bench play with insurance. The Grizzlies can simply let Chalmers walk away in free agency after this season if he does not perform well. The Grizzlies were simply not happy with the poor production of Beno Udrih, and they believed that they had to make a move fast to fix it.
Mario Chalmers is a better point guard than Beno Udrih, so the Heat clearly did this trade with the intentions of making another move. This is especially the case since Chalmers had an expiring deal. The Heat has made it clear that they want to compete for the Eastern Conference crown this season, so perhaps they are indeed looking to make another move to bolster their roster.
Memphis didn't do this trade just to have someone that can fill in for Mike Conley when he needs a rest. The Grizzlies view Chalmers as a cohesive piece that can play alongside Conley throughout games. Their offense has struggled to start the season, and it was evident that they needed a scoring threat at all five positions to get their half-court offense to flow properly.
Chalmers was acquired by the Heat from the Minnesota Timberwolves after he was selected 34th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. Chalmers had an impressive rookie season. In fact, he was an 82-game starter for the Heat. He averaged 10 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.0 steals and played 32 minutes per game. Chalmers was announced to the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team. He set the Heat franchise record in steals in a game with nine during this season. He ranked first among rookies and fourth in the entire league in steals per game. There was plenty of promise surrounding Chalmers that he could potentially grow to something special as a player, but it just didn't happen. He showed flashes of brilliance, but he never quite took the next step with the Heat.
Memphis is hoping that Chalmers can bring that same all-around defensive effectiveness that he had on the Heat. Chalmers is now 29 years old, so a career revitalization might have come at the right time. This appears to be a great fit for his skill set. He is a quality perimeter shooter, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him to utilize his offensive skill set in the Grizzlies half-court offense. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, because it looks good on paper. Miami simply needed to get under the luxury tax-line and they didn't view Chalmers as a player in their future plans.