The Miami Heat have traded Mario Chalmers and James Ennis to the Memphis Grizzlies for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal saves the Heat $2.5 million in salary and even more in luxury tax payments.
Chalmers and his $4.3 million expiring contract had been rumored to be on the trading block throughout the offseason, and ESPN's Marc Stein reported last week that the Heat and Grizzlies were talking trade before the two sides finally came to an agreement Tuesday.
This ends a seven-plus year run for Chalmers in Miami. The Heat acquired him on draft night in 2008 from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the 34th pick in the draft started all 82 games in his rookie season. The point guard was a key contributor throughout the Big Three era, primarily operating as the team's starting point guard alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
However, Chalmers took a step back last season after James left, then the 29-year-old struggled to start this season. In six games off the bench with the Heat, he shot 31 percent overall and nine percent from three-point range. The 33-year-old Udrih can provide similar production at a cheaper price, and this could also give more of an opportunity to young players like Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson.
The Grizzlies are hoping Chalmers can find the three-point stroke that's abandoned him. He's a career 36 percent three-point shooter and was over 38 percent in three straight seasons from 2012-14.
Ennis and Stokes are simply throw-ins in the deal. Neither player has made much of an impact at the NBA level.
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