NBA Trade Speculation: Should Toronto Raptors Target Rudy Gay?

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IJune 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 11:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies is fouled by Randy Foye #4 of the Los Angeles Clippers as Gay makes the layup in the first quarter in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It is clear that the Toronto Raptors need a small forward. After starting every year with a new one on their roster, they finally need someone who can hold the position for multiple years. One guy they should consider going after is Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Although Memphis is a talented team, they’ve run into cap issues and will probably lose O.J. Mayo this offseason. They clearly aren’t good enough to win a title with their current core, and therefore must trade one of their big contracts.

Gay is more likely to be traded than Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol, and Toronto would be a perfect partner. They could offer the Grizzlies cap relief by trading them Calderon, whose contract expires after next season. In addition, they would send Ed Davis to Memphis and throw in their first round pick from this year, giving the Grizzlies a dependable big off the bench.

The trade works in ESPN's Trade Machine.

With the Raptors pick, Memphis could draft Perry Jones III to replace Gay. Jones is one of the most talented players in the draft, his only knock being his motivation.

While I personally wanted the Raptors to draft Jones, Rudy Gay is already proven to be an elite small forward and would help Toronto reach the postseason in 2012-13.

Toronto would be without a starting point guard after trading Jose, but could go after Goran Dragic or Steve Nash in free agency. Both of those two would be an upgrade at point guard, and the Raptors have the cap space to sign either of them.

Both teams could benefit from this trade, which is why it should be done before the 2012 NBA Draft.