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Grizzlies to trade Jonas Valanciunas to Pelicans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe

Grizzlies to trade Jonas Valanciunas to Pelicans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (L), shown Feb. 12, 2021, averaged 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this past season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- The Memphis Grizzlies agreed to trade veteran center Jonas Valanciunas to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

League sources told ESPN and NOLA.com that Memphis is sending Valanciunas and the No. 17 overall pick to the Pelicans in exchange for big man Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe and two future first-round picks -- including the 10th choice in Thursday's NBA Draft. According to Yahoo Sports, Bledsoe isn't expected to stay in Memphis.

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The Pelicans are including the Lakers' 2022 first-round selection -- protected to 10 -- in the deal, according to ESPN. The Grizzlies (51) and Pelicans (40) also are swapping second-round picks in Thursday's draft.

New Orleans initially acquired Bledsoe and Adams last off-season in a trade that sent Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pelicans signed Adams to a two-year, $35 million extension shortly after the deal.

Bledsoe, who was coming off back-to-back All-Defensive Team nods with the Bucks, averaged 12.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game this past season in New Orleans. The 31-year-old guard spent parts of three seasons in Milwaukee before joining the Pelicans prior to the 2020-21 campaign.

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Valanciunas, 29, averaged 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting a career-high 59.2% from the field in just 28.3 minutes per game last season. He finished third in the league in rebounding and second in offensive rebounds per game (4.1).

The 28-year-old Adams averaged 7.6 points and 8.9 rebounds over 58 games for the Pelicans last season.

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