As articulated in my recent breaking news article, Rudy Gay has been sent to the Toronto Raptors in a three team deal that also includes the Detroit Pistons and of course, the Memphis Grizzlies. Here are my grades for the three teams involved.
Memphis Grizzlies- A-
After months of speculation, the Grizzlies were finally able to find trade partners for their struggling wing-man Rudy Gay. In return, they got two players shooting over 43% from beyond the arc in Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye, presumably solving their terrible 3-point shooting issues. They also receive talented young big man Ed Davis, whom will now be the first big off the bench in Memphis. Rudy Gay has been struggling in Memphis this year, shooting the worst percentage of his career and posting his worst offensive rating since his rookie season. Set to make just under $18 million, Gay simply wasn’t worth it for the Grizz’ anymore, as now they’ve been able to expand their bench and acquire some distance shooting, all at a cheaper price tag. Chemistry may be an issue at first given Rudy Gay’s large role now left vacant in the offense, but by playoff time they should have a good feel for each other. Remember when we thought the Harden trade would ruin the chemistry in OKC?
Detroit Pistons- A
This is awesome for the Pistons. They get rid of Daye and Prince, who realistically have no place in the future of this team, and instead get an experiment in Calderon. On the last year of his contract, Calderon will be able to spend the remainder of his season trying out for the Pistons. Brandon Knight is a good, score first point guard with a solid future ahead of him, but Calderon’s passing ability may be something that can greatly benefit the Pistons. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are by far the best two young assets on this Detroit team, so maximizing their potential is the main goal. Calderon will be able to show Detroit how good he can make the two young bigs, and if it doesn’t work out, they let him walk and save a lot of money. It’s a win-win for Detroit, I don’t see how anyone could argue that.
I love the idea that Kyle Lowry will be given the keys to Toronto, and I do think that in a new environment Gay may be able to flourish. People are saying this is terrible for the Raptors, and while I don’t necessarily agree, I don’t think it makes them that much better. The Raptors had no legitimate offensive threat in their offense, but we’ve seen during parts of Gay’s career that he has the ability to be that man. Most importantly, an attacker like Gay forces the defense to react, opening up space for teammates on the court, so it does make them slightly better offensively. However, I’m a huge Ed Davis fan, and Calderon is a tremendously efficient player. The Raptors simply still aren’t talented enough, I’m not a huge fan of Gay’s contract, and there is the unfortunate reality that Gay could stunt the growth of young stud Terrence Ross. Toronto gets a C, perfectly average.