Rudy Gay is on his way to Toronto in the latest and most dramatic move in the Memphis Grizzlies’ money-motivated makeover.
The Grizzlies agreed to trade their star swingman to the Raptors on Wednesday, parting with the leading scorer on a team that has aspirations of making a run in the powerful Western Conference.
The Raptors gave up point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis in the deal that also included Grizzlies backup center Hamed Haddadi, and Memphis then shipped Calderon to Detroit for Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince. Memphis general manager Chris Wallace thanked both Gay and Haddaddi for their time with the Grizzlies.
The moves surprised many around the league. Calderon spent his whole career with the Raptors, while Prince and Daye have both spent their entire careers with Detroit. Prince was the last link to the proud championship team of 2003-04.
Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, signed a five-year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with Memphis. The 6-foot-8 small forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next two years. That’s a big number for new owner Robert Pera, who took over the franchise last November and has quickly started addressing the team’s salary situation.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins had been lobbying to keep his five starters together the rest of this season, but he apparently lost that fight.
It’s a significant move for a team that was fourth in the Western Conference and three games behind the third-place Clippers.
— The Associated Press