I’m sorry, Toronto, but you are not getting Rudy Gay.
The Toronto Raptors do not have the talent to acquire Gay from Memphis. The ESPN report by Chad Ford (which started the rumor mill) said the offer would include the eighth overall draft pick, Ed Davis, and maybe Jose Calderon.
That’s not enough.
Ed Davis has potential, but so do many other young NBA big men. Jose Calderon is an average point guard, but Memphis already has Mike Conley.
Now, many argue Rudy Gay is overpaid and Memphis wants to get his salary off their payroll.
True, though many other teams can offer better trades to entice Memphis. Fox Sports' Sam Amico reports Charlotte may be willing to offer the second overall pick for Gay. Also, teams such as Golden State or Sacramento have higher picks and better young players to offer.
So what should Toronto do instead?
Trade up for a higher draft pick.
Acquire Portland’s sixth overall pick in exchange for the eighth pick and Ed Davis.
Toronto should make this deal because they would have the opportunity to select a much better player at six than at eight. This is because after the first two picks (likely Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson), the differences between the next group of players are very subjective.
Will Toronto acquire Rudy Gay?
After the second pick, anything can happen.
In most mock drafts the next six picks (in no particular order) are Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb, Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes. If the Raptors pick sixth, they will be able to choose from at least three of the six. If they pick eighth, they may be left with only one of the six.
To illustrate my point, consider Bradley Beal. He may become an outstanding player. In some mock drafts he is drafted as high as third, but in others as low as seventh.
The 2012 NBA draft will have a lot of uncertainty. The Toronto Raptors can use this opportunity to potentially steal a future All-Star.
Portland will accept this deal because they already have two promising wing players in Wesley Mathews and Nicolas Batum (most of the players mentioned are guards or small forwards). They will acquire Ed Davis while still retaining a high pick.
It’s a win-win deal for both teams.
Get it done, Toronto!