The long-anticipated trade sending Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors from the Memphis Grizzlies has finally been completed. The Grizzlies’ facelift in an attempt to save money would appear to be complete.
The Grizzlies will acquire forward Ed Davis and a second-round pick from the Raptors, and Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince from the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons will receive point guard Jose Calderon from Toronto, while the Raptors get Gay and reserve center Hamed Haddadi.
The 26-year-old Gay is currently averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, but he signed a five-year, $82 million contract in July 2010 that now makes him unaffordable for the Grizzlies in the long term. He is due $16.5 million this season, and $37 million more over the next two seasons.
New Memphis owner Robert Parra has made it clear he wants to get the team’s financial house in order and avoid paying luxury tax dollars. Just more than a week ago the Grizzlies shipped Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round pick for Jon Leuer. The deal was a straight salary dump, and saved the team more than $6 million while putting it under the luxury tax threshold.
The Grizzlies have center Marc Gasol, forward Zach Randolph and point guard Mike Conley locked in to long-term, expensive deals. That meant one player in the team’s core had to go, and Gay was the odd man out.
The Raptors currently sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a 16-29 record, and are 5.5 games out of a playoff spot. Meanwhile the Grizzlies have had a successful season. They are currently 29-15 and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference.
This trade will be a big change for both teams, while the Pistons will get a veteran pure point guard in Calderon to hopefully spark their offense.