Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Raptors/Grizzlies/Pistons Trade

Before Toronto's game against Atlanta tonight, the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team trade. So, here is the breakdown:

  • Raptors receive:
    • Rudy Gay
    • Hamed Haddadi
  • Grizzlies receive:
    • Ed Davis
    • Tayshaun Prince
    • Austin Daye
    • Raptors' 2013 2nd-round pick
    • Cash considerations
  • Pistons receive:
    • Jose Calderon

One of the easiest ways to evaluate a trade is deciding who received the best player of the deal. At this point in time, it seems like the Raptors got the best of the deal.

But did they?

Gay will help the Raptors' line-up immediately. He'll push DeMar DeRozan to the shooting guard position, which adds instant athleticism to starting five. With Calderon gone as well, it looks like it will consist of a Lowry-DeRozan-Gay-Johnson-Gray combination until the team gets healthy. Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas will likely start again when they resume play.

Gay also helps the Raptors in the fourth quarter, who haven't been able to close out games successfully - just like tonight. I know, I know. DeRozan was fouled. But doesn't that prove the lack of respect the officials in the NBA have for the only Canadian team? Gay has closed out games, especially against the Raptors.

However, the Raptors take a lot of money in the deal. Gay will be paid over $19 million in 2014-15. According to, he'll make more than Amir Johnson, Landry Fields, Valanciunas, and Terrence Ross combined (at the time of writing, the site did not have DeRozan's extension included in the cap).

It might not be as bad if they can unload Bargnani, which has been rumoured when he gets back from injury. Toronto has been more successful with "Il Mago", and he is starting to wear out his welcome with the fans. The former #1 overall selection has shown flashes of potential, but is it enough to get a deal done?

Many articles I have read consider this a salary dump for the Grizzlies. They get some nice pieces back for their part in the trade. Ed Davis was starting to come in to his own with more playing time in the depleted Raptors' front court. Davis averaged 33.5 minutes per game in January, putting up 14 points and 8 rebounds a game. He'll be a nice depth addition for the Grizzlies with the chance to develop into a fantastic player.

Calderon heading to the Detroit Pistons as a result of this might pain many fans. The Spanish point guard has played his entire career in Toronto and has done everything asked of him, whether it was coming off the bench of being part of the starting five. Calderon will help the development of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight in Detroit.

In the long run of this trade, I believe the Grizzlies will be the winners of the deal. They have gained some financial stability AND added talent to the roster. The Pistons also come out ahead with experience in the back court. The Raptors appear to be the losers of trade, despite getting the biggest name. The ESPN Trade Machine agrees with me.

The one time the Raptors close something out, they may end up regretting it.


  1. That's so dumb, they got rudy gay, and got rid of an over achieving ed davis and yes jose was a great person and player but it was time for a switch and you would never know if jose would resign.... and even so he would be expecting another bigger contract, basically traded ed and a second round for rudy gay....

    1. I do believe Gay is the right fight for the Raptors now and you're right about Jose. There is no telling if he would resign. I said it would hurt the fans because many of them loved the effort he put in night in and night out. We'll agree to disagree about Ed Davis. Since this is only his third year in the league, it's hard to say he's over-achieved. When he has received the playing time, he has put up the numbers capable of a starting power forward.