Much has been made of the Memphis Grizzlies and whether they will deal Rudy Gay before the trade deadline. Although a good player a big part of the team, new ownership is looking to shred salary, and Gay is vastly overpaid with a maximum contract.
There has been plenty of speculation, with tons of potential landing destinations being tossed around. They recently made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that was primarily aimed at lowering their tax bill, leading some to believe that they are done dealing for this season.
However, the Grizzlies are reportedly in talks with the Toronto Raptors for Gay. Via ESPN:
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to field calls from teams interested in Rudy Gay and are engaged in active trade discussions with the Toronto Raptors, sources with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com.
Although the framework of a workable trade has not yet been established, sources told ESPN.com that Toronto — known to be perhaps Gay’s most determined suitor — has continued to make a hard push for the swingman.
But sources say that the Raptors, undaunted by that stance, continue to pursue Gay and also covet Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur. Toronto, sources said, has made veteran point guard Jose Calderon and blossoming young forward Ed Davis available as the two cornerstones of its offer.
Other teams remain engaged with the Grizzlies as well, as Memphis officials continue to weigh whether it is best to trade Gay or keep together the core of a team that has ranked among the top four in the Western Conference.
If talks with the Raptors do progress, according to sources, it’s possible that a trade with Memphis could expand to include other teams and players. NBA front-office sources have maintained for weeks that Calderon (who has an expiring contract), fellow Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (only $1 million in guaranteed salary next season) and former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani all are available.
All of these trade scenarios are fun to talk about, but it’s hard to see Memphis pulling the trigger on a deal with Toronto. Despite being overpaid, Gay is still a huge part of the Grizzlies, and it’s hard to see them competing for a title this year unless they get a player of similar quality in return.
I can’t see Memphis biting on some combination of Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry, Ed Davis, and Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani and Davis wouldn’t bring much to a team who already features Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies could use a little help at the shooting guard position, but Lowry and Calderon wouldn’t solve much.