When the Memphis Grizzlies dealt three solid players and a draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for little-used Jon Leuer last week, the general consensus around the league was that the Grizzlies had effectively nickel-and-dimed their way out of having to deal forward Rudy Gay. After all, the team was no longer set to pay the luxury tax, and the Grizz needed all the scoring they could get. And Rudy’s a scorer, right?
In Memphis’ eyes? No. The team’s new front office has never been smitten with Gay’s work, taking plenty of shots to score a middling amount of points, while offering precious little else in terms of defense, rebounding, passing or putting opponents into the penalty. Even without the luxury-tax restrictions influencing movement, the two years and more than $37 million remaining on Rudy Gay’s contract after this season is far too steep a price to pay for his production. If you’re going to make $17.88 million, as Rudy will next year, you should at least be averaging 17.88 points per game while shooting an acceptable percentage.
Instead, Memphis is dealing Gay’s 17.2 points per contest and 40.8 shooting percentage to the Toronto Raptors. The team will also give up fan favorite Hamed Haddadi (who will be waived by Toronto), and receive promising forward/center Ed Davis from Toronto. The Raptors will send guard Jose Calderon to Memphis, and the Grizzlies will re-route the pass-first distributor to Detroit in exchange for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. In all, nobody seems happy.