Shane Battier has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet, report Chris Vernon and Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Houston Rockets will also receive a protected first-round draft pick from Grizzlies. NBA trade rumors surrounded Battier as the Thursday trade deadline approached. Battier will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, and the Rocket declined to extend his contract last summer. It is believed Memphis will attempt to sign Battier to an extension soon.
In the immediate, Battier will offer the Grizzlies veteran leadership and wing defense, especially as Rudy Gay recovers from a serious shoulder injury that will keep him out through at least mid-March. Memphis does have Tony Allen and Sam Young, but Battier is bigger and a much better shooter.
Thabeet has been a huge disappointment in the NBA after Memphis made him the No. 2 pick in the guard-heavy 2009 NBA Draft. It's not clear what protections Memphis' pick will have. The Rockets have the option of swapping their own 2011 first-round with that of the New York Knicks, and also own the Knicks' 2012 first-round pick.