Posted January 31, 2013

Grizzlies trade Rudy Gay to Raptors in three-team deal

Austin Daye, Detroit Pistons, Ed Davis, Jose Calderon, Memphis Grizzlies, Rob Mahoney, Rudy Gay, Tayshaun Prince, Toronto Raptors
The Grizzlies dealt Rudy Gay to help clear up the franchise's long-term finances. (AP)

The Grizzlies dealt Rudy Gay — and broke up a proven core — to help clear up the franchise’s long-term finances. (AP)

By Rob Mahoney

The Grizzlies already succeeded in clearing the luxury-tax threshold for this season thanks to last week’s trade with Cleveland. But they’re wasting no time in cleaning up their long-term finances, too.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Memphis will actualize the long-standing Rudy Gay trade rumors by sending the 26-year-old forward to the Raptors as part of what amounts to a three-team, six-player deal that also includes the Pistons. The moves are technically two separate transactions. In one, the Grizzlies send Gay and center Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon and power forward Ed Davis. In the other, the Grizzlies then ship Calderon to the Pistons in exchange for forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye.

Reports from Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski and NBA.com’s David Aldridge have confirmed these specifics.

To simplify, the breakdown is as follows:

MEMPHIS
Incoming: Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, Austin Daye, an undisclosed second-round pick
Outgoing: Rudy Gay, Hamed Haddadi

TORONTO
Incoming: Rudy Gay, Hamed Haddadi
Outgoing: Jose Calderon, Ed Davis

DETROIT
Incoming: Jose Calderon
Outgoing: Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye

Stein’s reports indicated that the Mavericks had also been in play as a potential third team, but that a reluctance to part with Vince Carter may have prevented their involvement. Sam Amick of USA Today also reported that Boston was “in the mix” to join the deal as the third team, though now the Celtics will have to look elsewhere for point guard help with Calderon headed to Detroit. Boston announced Sunday that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Memphis is the most pertinent party here, as the Grizzlies have now broken up a proven nucleus while acquiring a few helpful parts that are financially palatable. Gay, averaging a team-leading 17.2 points (on 40.8 percent shooting) and 5.9 rebounds for the 29-15 Grizzlies, is making $16.5 million this season and is owed $37.2 million the next two seasons. With Gay in the fold, the Grizzlies were set to pay their four core players — Gay, power forward Zach Randolph, center Marc Gasol and point guard Mike Conley — a combined $60.5 million in 2014-15.

Prince, 32, a longtime Pistons starter averaging 11.7 points, is on the books for $7.2 million next season and $7.7 million in 2014-15. Davis, 23, a starter of late in Toronto’s banged-up frontcourt who is averaging 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds in 14 games this month, will make $3.2 million next season on his rookie-scale contract. Daye, 24, the 15th pick in the 2008 draft, will be a free agent after the season; he has averaged fewer than 15 minutes per game in each of the last two seasons.

Detroit may not seem like the most obvious landing spot for the 31-year-old Calderon, but the Pistons have essentially removed Prince’s long-term commitment in favor of a $10.6 million expiring contract, all while getting a top-notch shooter and veteran lead guard to spearhead their improbable playoff candidacy. Calderon is averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three-point range and 90.4 percent from the free-throw line. In creating even more financial flexibility, the Pistons continue to position themselves as a potential player in free agency this summer.

Toronto’s goals here are harder to understand as Gay joins a wing rotation that includes DeMar DeRozan, who signed a four-year, $38 million extension in October; Terrence Ross, the eighth pick in the 2012 draft; and Landry Fields, who signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal last summer.

While Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo has redeemed some value from Calderon’s expiring deal and managed to get a decent return in terms of raw talent, he’s also made a hard commitment to the Raptors’ current core. Between recent offseason signings, a lucrative extension for DeRozan and the costly acquisition of Gay’s contract, Toronto has shackled itself under the salary cap and made the task of improving the team further that much more difficult. Gay is undoubtedly the headliner of this deal, but the team that has secured his services will also have to live with the challenges of maneuvering around his massive salary for the next two seasons.

34 comments
P0is0nedKoolA1
P0is0nedKoolA1

The Raptors have some buzz and a legitimate name on their team now. This is better than where they were a month ago. 

 

Memphis made a great trade. Gay is paid like he's LeBron!!! Guy is always injured, not a leader, shoots 40%, his team did better w/o him (1st round knock out 2012 w/gay, made it to 2nd round w/o Gay in 2011). Cap space, picked up a team player in Prince w/championship experience, young beast with great potential in Davis!

 

Detroit is the REAL mess! They have too much of the same! Monroe/Drummond. Bynum/Knight/Stuckey/Calderon. 

I don't get what they're doing 

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

Shooting 40% to get 17 ppg hurts a team as much as helps it, and for a huge salary Gay is no big loss at all.

Lacentral
Lacentral

you know i just don't care lol piston can clear cap space all they want they will always suck! grizz well you guys will never win a championship you had your chances & as for toronto no comment

Mark V.1
Mark V.1

I just feel like this trade makes sense for none of the parties involved.

Braktooth
Braktooth

Solid deal for Memphis, great pick-up for Detroit (and getting rid of Prince's salary was huge), but not a good deal for Toronto. I have to believe that Colangelo believes that he gets fired if the team doesn't make the playoffs this season, because long-term, it screws the Raptors. Not bad enough to get a good draft, trades one of their best young players (and developing young players should be the goal this year), and now they're in Cap hell. No flexibility.

 

Calderon was huge for that team, and how happy is Gay going to be going north? I'd have rather taken the chance of drafting Wiggins in a couple of years and staying young.

 

And how do you make this trade and not get rid of Bargnani? Wow.

Seriously?
Seriously?

Another dumb trade by Toronto. I have no clue what this team is supposed to be. The strategy seems to be "let's throw it on the wall and see what sticks." Get rid of the whole management team. Completely useless...

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Don't look at the 17 ppg stat, Grizz fans, look at the 40% FG percentage.  That equates to a lot of wasted possessions when Gay shoots.  And yet he still averaged 17 points a game anyway, which means he was shooting *a lot*... more than a 40% shooter really should be.

eimsand
eimsand

You know, very quietly, Chris Wallace (Grizzlies' GM) is doing an awesome job in Memphis.

 

First the Pau Gasol trade... you know, the one everyone mocked?  That turned into Marc Gasol (upgrade) and Zach Randolph (again, upgrade).

 

Now this.  As a Grizz fan, I don't love this trade but I appreciate the logic behind it.  Gay was never going to be an all-NBA player in Memphis and his salary was crippling.  But now he's gone in favor of flexibility, with young talent to boot.

 

Bravo, Mr. Wallace.

E Bart
E Bart

Hey Toronto fans, look at it this way.  Atleast you still don't have Kahn for a GM.

JoeyBagadoughnutz
JoeyBagadoughnutz

memphis easily won on this deal.  even detroit did better than the raps

idenchasy
idenchasy

Dumb, dumb, DUMB trade by Memphis!

 

And I'm saying this as a Clippers fan who will definitely BENEFIT from Memphis blowing up its roster, big time. Top 3 playoff spot for the Clips now guaranteed.

 

What, exactly, does Toronto gain from this, when they SHOULD have traded Bargnani?

 

Oye!

eneri
eneri

I can't understand this trade...

 

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

Its hard to find a player with that combination of size/athleticism/ability on both sides of the ball. Not saying its a great trade for us (im a raptors fan), but there is definite logic to this trade that will surely be missed by the mass of fans with little to no knowledge of the game and a thirst for the blood of Brian Colangalo. 

NavrajGhumman
NavrajGhumman

Brian need to be shot, as is anyone in MLSE who allowed this trade to happen. WTF?!?!? Is our goal to make the 8th seed and loose, and then again do the same for the next 2 years? Ed davis was a corner stone for the future. OMG. Its times like this I hate being from Toronto :S

therednorth1
therednorth1

This trade is a fireable offense.

 

Fire Colangelo tonight.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @idenchasy Blowing up its roster big time?  Is there another trade that you are referring to?

eddie577
eddie577

 @idenchasy

 Don't buy that for a second. They play better without Gay. When he was out 2 years ago they made a run in the WC playoffs and barely lost to OKC. Last year with him the lost in the first round. Memphis picked up a talented young player in Davis who is bigger, younger and earns a lot less, plus they got a talented veteran in Prince. I'd say Memphis made out like a bandit.

therednorth1
therednorth1

 @ChickenWolf I was one of the most passionate Bryan Colangelo defenders until today.  I figured his ability to trade his way out of any mistake made up for occasional foolish dailliances with poor overpriced players.

 

...I don't think he's ever made a trade this bad before, and that's saying something.  He hasn't had a good trade in a while.  And now he's traded away Toronto's future.  Who is Valanciunas' future frontcourt partner now?

lazaro
lazaro

 @ChickenWolf In reality, Toronto didn't give much up. I'm not sure Gay can be the alpha dog, but he's a nice piece to have, assuming he doesn't bolt in free agency whenever his contract is up (2 years?).

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

 @NavrajGhumman im from toronto also. I respect your right to voice your opinion, but i fear you have not seen ed davis or rudy gay play enough. Im not saying this is some huge win for us, but it does make some sense. Spend the next few days watching as much Rudy Gay tape as possible and you'll understand the uniqueness of this player. This is someone who plays defense at a high level (can guard the opposing teams top players), is great in transition, is able to penetrate with ease, and is able to create his own shots. The new NBA is filled with huge, uber-athletic monsters who were previously unguardable by anyone on our roster. This is no longer the case.

touseyd
touseyd

 @therednorth1 maybe they were trying to clear cap? tayshaun prince could be rejuvenated playing next to marc gasol so you never know..

idenchasy
idenchasy

 @eddie577 I hear you, but Gay is pretty much the only legitimate outside scorer the Grizzlies have who can create his own shot. The Grizzlies are already one of the lowest scoring teams in the entire league and this just makes them even less of a scoring threat.

 

Maybe long term, certainly, it can be argued that this makes total sense, but for this year it will seriously hamper them, I believe.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @eddie577  @idenchasy

 Here's the thing. Gay may not have been a good fit for Memphis at present...but the coaching staff has to make it work. A dynamic wing player plus 2 monsters down low and Conley is a pretty fearsome lineup. Gay is entering his prime and Zbo is already over 30. Gotta make it work. 2 years down the road Memphis will be complaining that they don't have talent at the 3 (Tayshaun Prince is close to done) and Zbo is too old.

 

Championships are won by players not bean counters.

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

 @therednorth1  I've never been a big Colangelo guy, but i think this trade is defensible.The drafting of terrance ross over an extremely high potential guy like andre drummand...that i didnt like.  The trading of a 1st round pick for kyle lowry (i actually really like lowry. Just not for this team, for that value, at that time) instead of ridding the roster of mediocre players and rebuilding...i dont like that either. The list goes on. Im not defending colangelo, i just believe this trade isnt as terrible as everyones making it out to be. I was disappointed to see Davis go, but i think its easier to find 6'9'' power forwards with 10 and 10 potential than it is to find 6'8" small forwards with elite athleticism, high level defensive ability, and the ability to create his own shot.

Shortofbrillant
Shortofbrillant

 @ChickenWolf  @NavrajGhumman 

 

The big issue is not with Rudy Gay's playing ability. The issue is the amount of money that the team is paying Bargs, Demar and Gay. This team is no where near competing and now they have no cap room and no draft pick this year. This team has absolutely no plan.

 

To add, Calderon was the heart and soul of the team.

therednorth1
therednorth1

 @touseyd No, not the Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies made off like bandits.  I don't know what the Raptors were thinking, giving up their most promising young player for a declining overpriced small forward who probably can't even make up the wins being shipped out.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @idenchasy  Great point.  Season over.  Unless they are still going to play all 82 games.  

idenchasy
idenchasy

 @JoeCabot  @Shortofbrillant Ummm, they got blown out by almost 30 by the Clippers MISSING Chris Paul (in their own house) without Gay in the lineup.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @Shortofbrillant  They have proven that they can play well without Rudy Gay and the rest of the guys were parts that were replaced.   Still a solid roster.

therednorth1
therednorth1

 @ChickenWolf Yeah, I'd agree with you, except Davis isn't a PF with "10 and 10" potential.  Davis is a PF with "20 and 10" potential.  His per 48 minutes averages were already at 19 and 13.  As a 23-year old.

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

 @Shortofbrillant  Well said. I agree with everything you said except the heart and soul part (but i believe less in that intangible stuff than most). This trade makes sense because this type of player is extremely hard to acquire and we need a player with Gay's size/athleticism/skill-set on our team. At the same time it hurts us because of salary cap restrictions. The huge amount of money we've handed out to guys like Demar and Fields doesnt help. And please for the love of god can we trade Bargnani. This guy is softer than that brand of pasta he endorses.