The rumors were going around for a couple of weeks, but the deals have been set in stone; Rudy Gay is now a Raptor in the Great White North and there were three teams and six players in this trade; when the dust settled this is what we ended up with:
TORONTO RAPTORS: Rudy Gay(SF) and Hamed Haddadi(C)
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Ed Davis(PF), Austin Daye(SF) and Tayshaun Prince(SF)
DETROIT PISTONS: Jose Calderon(PG)
If you know basketball you understand that this is definitely a money move for the Grizzlies; why else would you get rid of your top scorer on the team that really don’t say much (I never heard any problems out of him). Gay is averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per, good numbers but the elephant in the room was the max contract that he received in 2010 by the numbers of 5-yrs/$82M; he was overpaid. He is due $16M this season and $37M in the next two. The new Grizzlies owner, Robert Pera (who took over in October) looked at the numbers and knew it was time to “skim the excess financial fat” from this small market franchise. Memphis started cutting payroll a week ago when they shipped reserve Marreese Speights(PF/C), Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first round draft pick for Jon Leuer(F), that move freed up $6.4M and avoided a $4M luxury tax hit.
OKC Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins was shocked about the trade:
Wow that was 1 crazy trade today. Are you serious Rudy Gay is right there under KD, Lebron, Kobe, and Melo. #badtrade
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 30, 2013
Recently ex-teammate tweeted this:
— Mike Conley (@mconley11) January 30, 2013
As a “money-makeover move”, it wasn’t a bad trade because the Grizzlies received three good players who will contribute as the team revolves around All-Star forward Zach (Z-Bo) Randolph and center Marc Gasol; let’s not forget that in 2011, the Grizzlies WITHOUT Gay (serious shoulder injury)did some damage by putting the No.1 seed San Antonio Spurs to sleep and taking the OKC Thunder to 7 games before losing to them in the Western semifinals.
The head-scratcher to me is why Toronto wanted Gay? Yes he is a pure scoring talent, but you have DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson as your swingman plus spending more money than you have to.
If I were to grade the three teams:
GRIZZLIES > (B) for saving big money and getting a decent replacement along with two prospects
PISTONS > (B-) for shedding salary and picked up a big expiring contract.
RAPTORS > (C-) for getting Rudy Gay and his fat, robust contract.