Rudy Gay’s name has been floating around in trade rumors the past couple of weeks and finally the triggered has been pulled in our first major pre-trade deadline deal. Gay heads from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toronto Raptors in a three-team trade that also includes the Detroit Pistons. Here is my trade breakdown.
Toronto Raptors get: SF-Rudy Gay, C-Hamed Haddadi
Memphis Grizzlies Get: SF-Tayshaun Prince, SF-Austin Daye, PF-Ed Davis, future 2nd round pick
Detroit Pistons Get: PG-Jose Calderon
Why this makes sense for Toronto:
Since no big name free agent will ever head north of the border via free agency, the Raptors need to be aggressive in the trade market. Rudy Gay gives them a star scorer to pair along Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt and it only cost them free agent-to-be Calderon and the developing Davis. While Davis has been coming on as of late (14 ppg and 8 rpg in January,) Toronto needs some star power which Gay kind of brings along with the remaining two years and $37 million on his contract (that’s a lot of coin.)
With Gay, DeRozan, and rookie Terrence Ross (who was reportedly untouchable in this trade) on the wing, you have to wonder if the Raps try to move DeRozan this off-season in hopes of landing an athletic big (which they ultimately traded away in Davis.)
Why this makes sense for Memphis:
The Griz continue to trim payroll in hopes of getting under the luxury tax by saving about seven million dollars this season and a heck of a lot more than that for the next two years. Prince is a serviceable veteran small forward who doesn’t score it like Gay but brings experience, leadership, and intangibles to the Griz. Davis will be a terrific asset off the bench to help replace what Memphis traded away last week in Marreese Speights. Daye is a salary throw in and there is no way the Griz extend the qualifying offer his way meaning he will become a free agent this summer.
Memphis becomes a less dangerous offensive team after this deal meaning guys like Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley will have to pick up the scoring load a bit. Prince and Davis do provide some length and defensive ability that Gay lacked though so expect some more grind it out affairs from the Griz.
Why this makes sense for Detroit:
Calderon is a talented point guard and the Pistons could use an upgrade in their guard depth but let’s be honest; this was a salary dump. Trading the long-time Piston in Prince will save Detroit about $15 million over the next two years and when you add Calderon to Corey Maggette, Jason Maxiell, Richard Hamilton (yes he still counts towards $5.5 against Detroit’s cap space,) and Will Bynum; that’s more than $36 million coming off their cap giving them some nice flexibility this off-season. (Assuming Joe Dumars doesn’t blow that money on two average players like Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as he did a few summers ago.)