Struggling Grizzlies discussing swap for Mario Chalmers with Heat

ByMarc Stein ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Memphis Grizzlies, off to a shaky start this season despite the summer re-signing of star center Marc Gasol, have discussed trading for veteran guard Mario Chalmers with the Miami Heat, according to league sources.

Sources told that, while no deal was considered imminent as of Tuesday, the Grizzlies have explored the possibility of dealing for Chalmers, who is known throughout the league to be available after Miami signed point guard Goran Dragic to a long-term deal over the summer.

The Grizzlies are already investigating their options for strengthening the roster in the wake of two uncharacteristically heavy losses inside the first four games of the season. Memphis suffered a 30-point defeat to Cleveland last week in its home opener, then absorbed a 50-point hammering Monday night at Golden State in the first game of a five-game trip.

Selected No. 34 overall in the second round of the 2008 draft, Chalmers, 29, has spent his entire career with the Heat, playing on two Miami championship teams after also winning a title collegiately at Kansas. In the Jayhawks' victory over Memphis in the 2008 NCAA title game, Chalmers helped clinch the win in OT with a 3-pointer.

Chalmers, though, is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed in the summer of 2014 and is making $4.3 million this season. Sources say one possibility, if a deal were to come to fruition, is Memphis including fellow veteran Beno Udrih in a trade, but Udrih earns just $2.2 million when it comes to salary-matching purposes.

The Heat can not only slice their luxury-tax bill if they find a favorable deal for Chalmers but also ensure that youngsters Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson continue to be first in line for spot minutes behind the Heat's backcourt starters.

Chalmers told earlier this week that his situation with the Heat is out of his control.

"It's definitely been tough, but I'm built like that ... for tough moments, to deal with things," he said. "I've always had the odds stacked against me. That's what made me who I am."

Chalmers said he's always prided himself on doing whatever is best for the team, whether it was playing a prominent rotation role during Miami's two recent championship runs or accepting a lesser role since the team acquired Dragic last February. He also heard his name in connection with trade rumors for several months.

"Especially with the way things have been going, I've got to prove every day why I'm here, why I've got two championship rings, why I was a starting point guard on two championship teams," Chalmers said. "So I've just got to keep proving myself."

Information from's Michael Wallace was used in this report.