Pelicans acquire Jonas Valanciunas, picks from Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are trading center Jonas Valanciunas and the No. 17 and No. 51 picks in Thursday's NBA draft to the New Orleans Pelicans for center Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe, the No. 10 pick, the No. 40 pick, and top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

Woj says the Pelicans preferred Valanciunas at center over Adams because there will be more space available for Zion Williamson in the frontcourt. The move also creates financial flexibility for New Orleans to either match an offer sheet for Lonzo Ball, or use the salary cap space to sign a replacement in free agency. Woj specifically mentions Kyle Lowry as a potential target for the Pelicans if Ball leaves.

JV averaged 37.4 FanDuel points and 28.3 minutes in 62 games last season. He set career-highs in total rebound percentage (23.4) and offensive rebound percentage (15.1), and finished third in the NBA in both categories. Zion registered a plus-2.1 usage percentage with Adams off the floor last year.