It’s a done deal. In a recent three-team trade, Rudy Gay (203 cm, Connecticut’06) and Iranian teammate Hamed Haddadi (218 cm) of the Memphis Grizzlies are on their way to the Toronto Raptors. In return, the Raptors send them Spaniard Jose Calderon (190 cm) and Ed Davis (208 cm, N. Carolina’10). Immediately, the Grizzlies trade Calderon to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tayshaun Prince (205 cm, Kentucky’02) and Austin Daye (211 cm, Gonzaga’09)
It has been well circulated that the Raptors have been shopping both Calderon and Italian Andrea Bargnani (213 cm) for some time now. Even though the team is loaded with swingmen, they could not pass up an opportunity to acquire a player with the talent level of Gay. For the 2012-13 season, Gay is averaging 17.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg.
The Memphis Grizzlies are believed to be making this move to avoid paying a high luxury tax next season. Gay is due $16.5 million this season and $37 million over the next two seasons. They already freed up $6.4 million in a recent trade to avoid a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. After both deals, Memphis has shed over $40 million off their books over the next three years. They end up with a trio of Prince, Daye, and Davis. Davis will immediately serve as backup for Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, while Prince is expected to slide into the role once filled by the team’s leading scorer, Gay. This season, Prince is averaging 11.7 ppg and 4.6 rpg.
Detroit was a last-minute addition into the mix as Memphis had no real need to retain Jose Calderon, as they are satisfied with the services of Mike Conley Jr. and Jerryd Bayless. Calderon is expected to immediately join the Pistons’ starting lineup with former starting point guard, Brandon Knight, sliding into the shooting guard’s role. Calderon has been averaging 11.1 ppg and 7.4 apg for the Raptors this 2012-13 season. Kyle Singler (203 cm, Duke’11) is expected to replace Tayshaun Prince as the team’s starting small forward.