The race for the Western Conference crown just got mighty interesting, thanks in no small part to former ESPN NBA guru John Hollinger and the Memphis Grizzlies.
As reported by ESPN's Marc Stein, the Grizzlies pulled off what amounted to a three-team trade when they sent Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon, Ed Davis and a second-round pick and subsequently flipped Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye.
It's (obviously) too early to tell how this deal will actually work out for the Grizz. At first glance, though, it looks like a big win for the team in the Music City. In two fell swoops, Memphis has managed to offload long-term salary commitments, take on one player (Prince) whose defense, perimeter shooting and championship experience make him a better fit, at least in theory, for this team; add a young big (Davis) to eventually and potentially replace Zach Randolph; and pick up another youngster (Daye) whose development had stalled in the Motor City.
But what effect will this shakeup have on the bigger picture out West? And what chances of representing the conference in the 2013 NBA Finals does each of the top 10 teams have at this point?