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
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 HoopsHype.com, 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.