Saturday, February 2, 2013

Winners and Losers of the Rudy Gay Trade

Gay will be taking his talents north of the border after the 3-team
deal that sent the scoring machine to Toronto.
The Deal

Toronto receives: Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi.

Detroit receives: Jose Calderon.

Memphis receives: Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, Austin Daye and a second-round draft pick.

What It Means for Each Team

Toronto: For the Raptors, they get their small forward of the future, but for a reasonable doubt of a price. Toronto parted ways with longtime point guard Jose Calderon, who was expected to be moved because of his expiring contract, as well as Ed Davis, a young, blossoming prospect. Rudy Gay has been an effective scorer throughout his entire career, but he has yet to be named an All Star and is paid a maximum salary, worthy of a franchise player. However, Gay is entering his prime and because of his offensive skill set, he could become an All Star in Toronto. Gay, inserted into Toronto's lineup, automatically becomes the most dangerous threat on the wing for the Raptors since Vince Carter electrified the Air Canada Centre.

Detroit: In Calderon, the Pistons get a veteran presence and floor general that was needed on this team. Calderon is a fantastic facilitator who will distribute the ball around the court to Detroit's three young stars: Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The Pistons are currently less than five games behind the Rajon Rondo-less Boston Celtics for the last seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pistons' young nucleus will provide the Motor City a future perennial playoff team, but Calderon will help the team make a hard push for the eighth seed.

Memphis: With this deal, the Grizzlies finally get the monkey off their back. Rudy Gay has been a solid player for the team his whole career, but his contract is paying him like a franchise player, something that Memphis clearly did not envision as when they shipped him to Toronto. In the trade, Memphis brings in two southpaws. First is a winning, polished veteran forward in Tayshaun Prince, who can effectively replace Gay for a cheaper price. Prince has reached the promised land during his NBA career and is still -- at 32 years old -- a stud on the defensive side of the ball. The Grizzlies also land a young, promising big man in Ed Davis. The former North Carolina Tar Heel has a massive amount of potential and has shown little bursts of it during his short career. Davis will have to earn minutes playing behind All Star Zach Randolph, but he will be a big piece of Memphis' puzzle for years to come.


Detroit: Detroit is the biggest winner of this deal because of the cap space they gain in this deal. This summer, expect the Pistons to be big players in free agency for wing players such as Josh Smith or O.J. Mayo. They also might explore re-signing Calderon, who could be a valuable point guard for the right price. However, it depends upon Brandon Knight being able to adjust to shooting guard. This is the brightest Detroit's franchise has looked since the championship days of Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups and there is much more in store for Pistons fans.

Rudy Gay: For the Raptors, Gay is the bona fide franchise player. He will face pressure and scrutiny if he does not perform, but if Toronto's 98-73 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers is a sign of things to come, it will be a joyous campaign for the former UConn swingman.

Ed Davis: For the young forward, it will be a process, but he is a definite winner in this deal. Davis will be on a contending playoff team for the first time in his career and have a great mentor who also happens to be a southpaw: Zach Randolph.

Memphis: Believe it or not, Memphis is a winner in this deal. The team will officially be under the luxury tax for this season and next, while maintaining a championship caliber roster. Prince and Davis bring to the Grizzlies a strong, defensive mentality to what is already one of the top defensive teams in the NBA. It's usually said that defense wins championships and in this deal, Memphis remains a contender with arguably an even better shot to reach the NBA Finals.


Toronto: Simply put, the Raptors dealt their most valuable expiring contract and a young, promising big man for a talented volume scorer that is paid like that of a franchise player. What shocks me most, though, is that they did not attach Andrea Bargnani somewhere in this deal. Bargnani has created riffs with his team over recent months and while injured, the team has performed better without him. The former overall #1 pick is skilled offensively, but is a defensive liability and poor on the glass. Overall, the Raptors have several overpaid players under contract for at least two more years and not one All Star on the roster. They have the potential to be a playoff team, but the current contracts of the players on their squad creates a lack of flexibility for the franchise that could put the team in limbo and prevent them from becoming a contender in the Eastern Conference.

Boston: Yes, the Celtics are losers because of this deal. Earlier in the season, there were rumors that the Celtics could deal Paul Pierce to the Grizzlies for Rudy Gay, pre-Rajon Rondo's torn ACL injury. Now, the Celtics have no chance of acquiring Gay and to make matters worse, they'll be facing him more often now that he plays for the Raptors, an Atlantic Division rival. Also of importance, Detroit and Toronto are on the heels of the Celtics in a race for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs.

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Bryan Colangelo: The Toronto GM made a bold, yet significant move by trading for Rudy Gay. He showed his confidence to make a deal, but at the same time, might have hurt his team's future. The team is now built around a pair of athletic wings who lack range and struggle on defense (Gay and DeMar DeRozan), a rookie big man who has yet to show much flashes (Jonas Valanciunas) and several others who are average role players that get paid too much for the level of production they offer.

Chris Wallace: The Memphis GM had a tough decision to make, but he made the right decision. I'm not usually a fan of "money deals" but this deal is beneficial to the Grizzlies and will end up making the team better for a discount price. Initially, Wallace will face questionable criticism, but Memphis still has a legitimate shot to reach the NBA Finals.

Jose Calderon: The Spanish Olympiad is having an impressive season, but things might have just gotten harder for him because of three reasons. First, he was traded from a non-contender to another non-contender. Second, he will have to compete for playing time yet again, this time with Brandon Knight and third, he's having issues with his visa.

      What are your thoughts about the Rudy Gay deal? What parties do you think it was a good or bad trade for? How do you believe this blockbuster deal affects the other rumors around the NBA? Leave a comment below!

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