For the past month, there have been many rumors escalating about a possible trade involving the Toronto Raptors, and the Memphis Grizzlies. The rumors, as follow, have suggested that the Raptors have been in on talks in acquiring all-star caliber swing man Rudy Gay, from the Memphis Grizzlies. After one month of immense speculation, the deal is no longer rumored, for it has just become reality.
During the past couple days; the “Rudy Gay to Toronto” rumor began to heat up. With the Raptors in heavy pursuit in acquiring the SF out of the University of Connecticut, the pieces were pretty much in place to make the deal. Today, a few hours before game-time against the Atlanta Hawks, Bryan Colangelo pulled the trigger, in which landed the SF they’ve ever so dreamed of. It was indeed a shocking deal around the NBA, for Rudy Gay was frowned upon to be the franchise player in Memphis for the coming years. While not being able to exceed the level of play to his contract however, Memphis management was forced to pull the trigger, mainly enlarge part to free up cap space. The deal was in place from a few days ago, although finding a third team to take the likes of Jose Calderon, was the icing on the cake in terms of it. It didn’t take long, as the Detroit Pistons evidently stepped in to help make this deal happen. The deal involved six players in this three team deal, with each team receiving at least one. The Pistons received PG Jose Calderon, the Memphis Grizzlies received PF Ed Davis, SF Austin Daye, SF Tayshaun Prince, while the Toronto Raptors received the center piece of this deal, in Rudy Gay, as well as PF/C Hamed Haddadi. It was rather an intriguing deal for all three parties involved in this deal, as each team had their own reason for participating in it. Although it was certainly tough to say goodbye to guys like Jose Calderon (who was indeed one of the classiest Toronto’s ever had), and Ed Davis, who have been the most efficient Raptors all year, deals have to be made in order to help a franchise turn the corner. For the Raptors, this was it.
Why it makes sense for Toronto?
For the Toronto Raptors, a true All-Star caliber SF is what they’ve lacked for quite some time. Ever since the days of Vince Carter, no one has ever come close in matching his skill set, as well as his intensity on the floor. Rudy Gay on the other hand, is arguably the next big thing. With quite a few positions set in stone for Toronto, Rudy Gay fills the void that the Raptors have been missing all these years. A young, athletic SF, who can score at will, and defend along the perimeter, is exactly what Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors have been looking for. If you just look past the contract, and the amount of money he’s set to make, Rudy Gay has had stellar numbers throughout his career, and should be the SF that we’ve dreamed for.
Why it makes sense for Memphis?
Despite sitting in 4th in the ever so tough Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to pull the trigger on making yet another deal for the second time in less than a week. Unlike the first one however, this was no ordinary deal, for this was quite the splash. The Memphis Grizzlies decided to part ways with Rudy Gay, along with his $37million he’s due, for the next two years. Ever since being a part of the Grizzlies organization, Gay has been nothing but a stud. He’s averaged close to 18 points and 6 rebounds over his tenure in the NBA (all with the Memphis Grizzlies). However, since being signed to a massive contract in 2010 (5 years/82million), many believed that it was too steep of a price to pay, for the so called “franchise player”. Not only did they feel as if Gay wasn’t exceeding to the length of his contract, but the luxury tax was indeed too pricey for a Memphis Grizzlies front-office to handle. Thus, it allowed them to not only dump salary, as well as save luxury tax, (saving them 40 million over the next few seasons), they were also able to get a young elevating PF in Ed Davis, who seems as if could be the real deal, in the coming years.
I’m in the middle in terms of grading this deal. Although I’m ever so ecstatic in having the Raptors acquire the likes of Rudy Gay, giving up Ed Davis was a tough pill to swallow. Given what we’ve seen from his on court production as of late, Raptors’ fans (including myself) feel as if he really could turn out to be an even better player, than many expected him to be when he was selected 13th overall in 2010. However, acquiring an All-Star talent who can help make this franchise excel in the coming years, is certainly nothing to complain about.
Photo Source: SBNation