The Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raports and Detroit Pistons agreed to a 6 player trade that sent swingman Rudy Gay to the Raptors. The Grizzlies are in the midst of a money motivated makeover, acquired forward Ed Davis and veteran guard Jose Calderon in the deal that also sent backup center Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors. The Grizzlies then shipped Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. The Grizzlies also received a 2013 2nd round pick from the Raptors as part of the deal. Gay is averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds this season. He’s the 5th player in the past 5 years to be traded in season after averaging at least 17 points and 5 rebounds. Prince and Daye have both spent their entire careers with the Pistons, and Prince was the last link to the proud championship team of 2003-04. Gay signed a 5 year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with the Grizzlies. The 6’8 small forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next 2 years. That’s a lot of money for new owner Robert Pera, who took over the franchise last November and has quickly started addressing the team’s salary situation. Just more than a week ago, the Grizzlies sent Marreese Speights and 2 other players to the Cleveland Cavs in a move that cleared $6.4 million in salary and avoided a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins had been lobbying to keep his 5 starters together the rest of this season, but he apparently lost that fight. It’s a significant move for a team that was 4th in the Western Conference and 3 games behind 3rd place Los Angeles Clippers. Trading away Gay also eases a luxury tax hit due next season, while concentrating the team around All Star Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies had their best playoff run in 2011 when they knocked off then No.1 seed San Antonio Spurs before losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 7 games in the Western semifinals, all with Gay on the bench after needing season ending shoulder surgery. The Grizzlies shaved nearly $40 million over the next 3 years after the 2 trades.
Raptors get: Rudy Gay, Hamed Haddadi
Grizzlies get: Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Ed Davis, 2013 2nd round draft pick (Raptors)
Pistons get: Jose Calderon
Everybody knew that Rudy Gay has been on the trading block for the last couple of years and the only question was, what team will trade from him and when and who will they give up for him. I like this trade for all 3 teams (Grizzlies, Raptors, Pistons). The Grizzlies have a new owner and he is trying to get rid of their high payroll. Gay was getting paid a lot and he is not the best player on the team, so since they wanted to save money the Grizzlies made the right decision to trade him. In return they get a former champion Tayshaun Prince, Austin Day and a young and talented Ed Davis. That means that the Grizzlies can build their team around their star big men Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol. I like this move for the Raptors and they have nothing to lose and might as well get a young star Rudy Gay that people say is over paid. The Raptors needs somebody to build their team around and Gay might be that guy and the Raptors have been rumored to have been shopping Jose Calderon for some time now. I think that the real winners in this trade is the Detroit Pistons for adding themselves to this trade and getting Jose Calderon a veteran point guard to play along their young big men Greg Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond and only having to give up Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. Now this is the 1st big trade of the season and the NBA trade deadline is coming up and it will be interesting to see if any more players will be traded now.