USA TODAY Sports
In a big trade that one that's more a salary dump than a blockbuster, 6 players will shift between the Grizzlies, Raptors and Pistons.
Memphis, sources said, is also expected receive a second-round pick from Toronto as part of the deal.
The Raptors, according to sources, are expected to take on Grizzlies reserve center Hamed Haddadi in addition to Gay.
In a move that I can't help but look at as another salary dump by a front office extremely averse to the luxury tax in the era of the new CBA, the Grizzlies have shipped off Rudy Gay to the NBA wasteland of Toronto. With the Grizzlies fighting to hold on to their 4th seed in the piranha-filled kiddie pool that is the Western conference, trading their leading scorer for three new faces in the middle of the season is sure to come with questions about how well they'll play over the last 35 games of the season. It's also important to note that with the departure of both OJ Mayo and Gay, there's not really anyone left on the Grizzlies roster that instantly stands out as the crunch-time scorer.
The spindly Tayshaun Prince has been with the Detroit Pistons for his entire career (10 years), averaging 11.7 ppg, 2.5 apg, and 4.6 rpg this season. Although the 32 year old Prince can still defend well with his lanky frame, his game has been on the decline for a while now, and he doesn't have the same spark in his play that he had with the early 2000s Pistons teams. While I think the aging Prince will more than likely slide into the starting role with the Grizzlies, I'm doubtful that he'll be able to come close to Gay's production.
Ed Davis of the Raptors is an interesting sophomore player. A 6'10" power forward the Raptors took with the 13th overall pick in 2010, Davis is averaging almost 10 points and 7 boards a game in 24 minutes per. He's capable of bruising in the post and has a good amount of athleticism to back up his physical style - he makes 78% of his shots at the rim. His game seems to be rapidly improving, and he's averaged more than 14 points and almost 8 rebounds in his last 5. However, while he was starting in Toronto, he'll more than likely go to the Grizzlies bench and now back up Zach Randolph.
Austin Daye, another 6'11" PF, is mostly a project. In the NBA for 3 years after being taken 15th overall by the Pistons, Daye's game has never really panned out in the NBA. Averaging just 5.1 ppg and 2.6 rpg in 14 minutes per, Daye is a fringe player and unlikely to see much time on the now-crammed Grizzlies frontcourt.
In all, while this accomplished the Grizzlies' goals of avoiding the punitive luxury tax set to kick in (have fun with that, Lakers), to me this hurts their playoff chances this season. You don't send out your leading scorer and longtime franchise player, add three new players, and have no drop-off - unless you're the Denver Nuggets, of course. It'll be interesting to see if the Grizzlies are able to adapt the games of Daye, Prince and Davis into their system, and will certainly make for an interesting new look for the Nuggets in their final game against the Grizzlies on March 15th.
Six thoughts about trading Rudy Gay - Henry Abbott breaks down the trade with some quick reactions to each aspect of the trade. I'm sort of disappointed the Nuggets couldn't make a play for Calderon, somehow - I've long liked his skillset and feel like he would fit in well with the Nuggets.
Rudy Gay trade: good deal or bad deal? - A great 5-on-5 take from writers of each of the teams involved in the trade, along with some analysis from ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz and Danny Nowell of the Portland Roundball Society, for some reason. Most of the consensus is that the trade was pretty awful for the Raptors (sending out a promising prospect in Davis and a pretty excellent guard in Calderon), and a sort-of decent deal for the Grizzlies. Meh.
Rudy Gay deal doesn't look good for Toronto - Yahoo!'s Kelly Dwyer rips into the Raptors organization. He notes, amazingly, that the Raptors will be over the luxury tax next year with a core of - get this - Linas Kleiza, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani. As Dwyer says in his article, what is Toronto doing?
NBA: We messed up - The NBA acknowledges blown calls in the Nuggets-Pacers game (where Iguodala should have been called for a foul on Paul George's last possession) and in the Mavericks-Blazers game where a charge on OJ Mayo should instead have been called a block on Ronnie Price.