The Raptors have sent Rudy Gay and Hammed Haddadi to Toronto for Ed Davis, and a 2nd round pick. They also received Jose Calderon but sent him and his 10 million dollar expiring contract to Detroit for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. I have many mixed opinions about this trade starting with Memphis’ new fate.
Ok, well, Memphis was 29-15 before this trade took place. They had a young core of 4 and were one of the best teams in the league. They also led the league in opponents points allowed per game with 89. They were on a nice road. They weren’t a championship contender but hell they were close. They were very aware of their financial restrictions due to the money they were paying their core of 4. Rudy Gay is supposed to make 37 million over the next two years. Last week the Grizzlies traded Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first round pick to Cleveland for Jon Leur. The objective of the trade was simply to slash salary because they were over the luxury tax threshold. They had more freedom after that trade but of course lost a little bit of depth. Now with this trade they have lots of financial flexibility but a drastically weaker team. I understand their need to have freedom for years to come, but who are they putting themselves in a position to sign? They have their core in place. With Gay on the team in my opinion all they needed was some more scoring off the bench. They’re 27th in points per game with 93 points. Now with Speights gone, they have Jerryd Bayless, Quincy Pondexter and Darrell Arthur who are their main contributors off the bench but they only score a combined 20 points a game. Rudy Gay was their leading scorer with just above 17 a game. It’s not like he was taking away from the big men scoring either. Zach Randolph averages 16 a game and Gasol with just under 14 a game. They need extra scoring from the wings, someone like… Rudy Gay. They also needed more shooters, they traded away their best three point shooter in Wayne Ellington so now when there is no Rudy Gay on the wing, and teams start to double either Randolph or Gasol, who is going to knock down the open shots. Now they have Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye who are both mediocre scorers. Austin Daye averaging 6 points and Prince averaging just around 12 per game. However, they are very solid 3 point shooters. Both of them shooting above 40% from beyond the arc. They got worse and sure they have flexibility but for what? This was – if any – the team they were going to contend with. Additionally, now they have Ed Davis who really doesn’t have much room to develop behind the best frontline in basketball. Their record is going to drop and they may not get the top 5 seeding they were destined for at the beginning of the season.
The Raptors did very well in this trade. They got rid of Calderon’s expensive contract and added one of the most athletic small forwards in the league to a team with one of the most athletic shooting guards in the league. Rudy and DeRozan together make them dangerous on the break and gives them lots of scoring from the wings. The only thing I wonder about is them letting go of Ed Davis. He was kind of coming into his own this season – averaging 10 and 7 in 24 minutes a game. It makes them thinner in the front-court in terms of big bodies and also deprives them of possibly their future center.
The Pistons really are irrelevant in this trade. They got rid of Prince’s contract and got rid of Austin Daye and brought in Calderon’s expiring contract. They have bright spots in Monroe and Drummond. Some nights Brandon Knight impresses but otherwise they have nothing. Now along with the high lottery pick they’re going to get they can have some flexibility in the offseason. Maybe bring in some young talent. to add to Monroe, Drummond and Knight. Their future isn’t as bleak as it seems now. They’ve rid themselves of Prince and the 23 million he was going to earn in the next 4 years and they will soon rid themselves of Calderon’s contract and give themselves a true opportunity to rebuild.