The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a deal to send Ed Davis, Jose Calderon and a second round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi, the Grizzlies will then immediately flip Calderon for an impressive haul of both Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye.
Many fans will be sad to see both players go as Jose has been a fan favorite for most of his time as a Raptor and Ed Davis was finally beginning to grow into a competent NBA starting power forward.
Gay comes to to Toronto in the midst of a season that has seen him average just 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds and a career low .408 percent from the field.
While he is expected to step in as the team's new number one scorer, we now boast a offensively potent duo of DeRozan and Gay with DeRozan averaging 17.3 points up until this point in the season.
Was this a good move for the Raptors?
Let me start by saying I loved Ed Davis and his upside and was thrilled that he finally came into his own this season and earned the starting job, albeit when Andrea Bargnani was out with injury.
Losing Ed Davis is a major blow to a fan base that viewed his fall to the Raptors as a "Stern-anaigan" to give the Raptors a glimmer of hope at the power forward position following Chris Bosh’s departure.
This move will definitely have its detractors as Rudy Gay is owed a max salary and has yet to live up to that potential despite averaging 19.2 points between the 2007-2208 season and the 2011-2012 seasons.
Rudy Gay is the rock solid small forward we have been looking for since Vince Carter played there, and like all good small forwards is a plus defender and rebounder.
Giving up Ed Davis is going to hurt a lot of fans who were beginning to fall for the big man, but Rudy Gay is sure to become a quick fan favorite due to his highlight reel ability and upper echelon ability to score the basketball.
The package of Ed Davis, Calderon and a second round pick is actually quite a steal for the Toronto Raptors as only Ed Davis would likely have been a factor for the Toronto Raptors after this season with Jose set to hit free agency and second-round drafting being so hit or miss.
Ed Davis could be on his way to becoming something special in the NBA but Bryan Colangelo simply could not pass on this deal.
In a nutshell we arguably gave up more for Kyle Lowry so this deal has to be viewed as a win for the Toronto Raptors despite what others may think.
Here are Kendrick Perkins’ thoughts on the trade:
“Wow that was 1 crazy trade today. Are you serious Rudy Gay is right there under KD, Lebron, Kobe, and Melo. #badtrade”
He followed up criticism of his tweet with this comment:
“I didn’t say he was on the same level but he’s right under them. Give props when props are do”
Is Rudy Gay a good fit?
This has been a hotly debated question as many wonder if Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan’s games are too similar.
Rudy Gay appears to be a terrific fit for the Toronto Raptors who need another plus scoring option now that DeMar DeRozan has started to attract double teams.
The tandem of Gay, DeRozan and Lowry will be quite the tantalizing spectacle to watch and should provide nightly highlights.
Gay is a better shooter than DeRozan and is more adept at creating his own shot so I am not sure why anyone would be worried about duplicated skills when the facts simply don’t support that position. Gay can hit the three when given the green light as evidenced by his 1.7 threes per game in his 2007-2008 season.
My only concern with this deal is what it means for DeRozan’s future in Toronto as well as Andrea Bargnani’s who seemed destined to be traded with Ed Davis having replaced him in the starting lineup.
Did Bryan Colangelo make this deal for himself or the Raptors?
This is where it gets tricky.
Colangelo obviously made this deal because he wishes to make a playoff push in an attempt to perhaps get an extension in Toronto as GM and not lose a first rounder this year to the Thunder by way of the Rockets.
Ed Davis could very well be viewed as the top player in this deal within the next two to three years if Rudy Gay does not live up to expectations he set scoring 20.1 points per game in 2007-2008.
Rudy Gay is a player he coveted since the 2006 draft and was in the conversation with LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy to be selected over Andrea Bargnani.
And if we know anything about BC its that he always gets his man, even if it is five years too late.
Grading the deal
The deal gets a B+ as it finally gives the Raptors the small forward they have been dreaming of for years and nets us some return for Jose Calderon who if packaged by himself would not have garnered the Raptors a true impact player.
This deal does not get an A because Gay is indeed overpaid and Ed Davis may turn out to be the best player in this deal when all is said and done.
The Pistons get an A- for this deal as they got a true point who can make Monroe and Drummond look better than they have already looked this season.
The Grizzlies get an A for landing their power forward of the future, a small forward who can help them compete now and a small forward in Daye who could be their three of the future.
What do the Raptors do next?
The next step is for the Raptors to go out and get a power forward now that we have lost our starter. Bryan Colangelo may want to play Andrea there but has probably realized that the Raptors fan base has turned on Bargnani and that there are simply not enough shots to go around in Toronto with Lowry, Gay, DeRozan and Bargnani all being volume shooters.
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson immediately come to mind as possible fits for the Raptors but one has to posit that Jose Calderon would have been a better fit for the Jazz than Andrea Bargnani potentially killing any deal with Andrea involved, however a machination with DeMar DeRozan and Aaron Gray for Paul Millsap could make sense for both teams.
Hamed Haddadi is expected to be waived by the Raptors.
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