Around every corner lurks a reporter armed with the same question pertaining to the NBA these days, especially if you play for the Memphis Grizzlies, and that question is always concerning the Rudy Gay trade.
The Memphis Grizzlies pulled off a deal that eventually sent Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors. The Grizzlies got back Ed Davis from the Raptors and Tayshaun Prince from the Pistons, while the Pistons received Jose Calderon in the deal. Other minor pieces moved as well, but you get the gist of things.
The trade has reportedly been unpopular with the Grizzlies’ locker room, but seemingly A-Okay with Memphis’ forward, Zach Randolph. When asked about the deal that sent Gay north of the border. Whether or not it made Memphis a better team, Randolph responded with.
“I definitely do,” Randolph said. “I think once we get our identity together and continue to play, get some more games under our belt as a unit and come together, I think we can surprise a lot of people.’”
People who have been paying attention remember that the Grizzlies went on a historic run two seasons ago, upsetting the Number 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, sans Gay. Rudy Gay was injured and the Grizzlies manned the playoffs with Shane Battier filling out the three-spot instead of the highly overpaid Rudy Gay. Memphis went on to win shock the basketball world behind the scrappy defense of Battier and Tony Allen at the wings, and dominate down-low play of Z-Bo and Marc Gasol.
The Grizzlies adopted a hard-nosed defensive presence, one they seemed to lack with Rudy Gay in the lineup. The addition of veteran small forward, Tayshaun Prince should shatter any defensive doubts for the Grizzlies at the wing position come playoff time. They also managed to acquire an impressive young big man, in Ed Davis, to bolster their paint presence past Randolph and Gasol.
Rudy Gay was also heaving up an unimpressive 40% from the field this season, and the fact that he’s owed close to $40 Million between this season and next is likely what made the decision to seek greener (cheaper) pastures so important to the Grizzlies.