Toronto Raptors: Why Acquiring Rudy Gay Would Make Raptors Legit

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJune 8, 2012

Rudy Gay.
Rudy Gay.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This is the time of year where teams that were knocked out or did not qualify for the postseason turn their attention to the upcoming NBA Draft in hopes of striking gold.

At the same time, trade rumors have started to come out and the latest ones involve some big-name players that could possibly be on the move for a first-round draft pick.

It may be worthwhile for some teams (in the lottery) to trade their draft pick if they can get their hands on a player that will potentially turn their franchise around. One name that has been mentioned is Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to ESPN, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly interested as they are looking to fill a need at the forward position. The Raptors are expected to bring in Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas (selected last year) in this season, so their number eight overall pick could be had for the right price. 

Rudy Gay averaged 19.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season after missing a good portion of last year due to a serious shoulder injury. Gay is an integral part to the Grizzlies' young core, but due to ongoing financial issues with the collective bargaining agreement, may be moved to free up cap space in the near future.

Acquiring Gay would be an upgrade for the Raptors, but the Grizzlies may be asking for a lot in return. Would the Raptors be willing to make a trade that involves Andrea Bargnani?

It appears that the Raptors would not be willing to trade Bargnani since he is their top scorer and he and Gay would be put alongside Valanciunas. Maybe a third team will have to be reeled in to make the numbers work.

At the end of the day, it would be interesting to see if the Raptors can acquire a talented player like Rudy Gay.