UPDATE 8:00 PM EST
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that a three way trade involving the Pistons, Raptors and Grizzlies will send Rudy Gay to Toronto, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis, and Jose Calderon to Detroit. The trade has been agreed upon in principle, yet must be confirmed.
Rudy Gay has become that scab everyone knows should be left alone, but yet finds itself being prodded at on a daily basis. After news broke last Tuesday that the Memphis Grizzlies had shipped reserves Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, thus, unloading their salary burdens, it seemed Gay was in the clear of trade talks. Rumors had him headed to Phoenix. But just a few weeks down the line, Gay finds himself at the blunt tip of more cocksure speculation.
The luxury tax skirting, which saw the Grizzlies dump three reserves as well as a protected future first-round pick, had many convinced that Rudy would remain a part of a big-dominated Memphis Grizzlies team. Sure, the dumping of Speights and co. further hurt the Grizz’s depth, but the courting of former Knicks Bill Walker, LBJ’s BFF Delonte West, and sharpshooter Sasha Vujacic helped quiet those concerns. This, also after the team signed former D-Leaguer Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract.
Chess moves in place, the storyline seemed to suggest Memphis would pursue a shot at the O’Brien Trophy with their Big Four and a resurgence of cheap, 3-point obsessive players. (Johnson, for example, ranked fourth in the D-League in 3-pointers made, and shoots at a 41.9 three-point FG percentage). Management has expressed the above scenario as being the most likely outcome, but continues to aggressively shop their small forward.
As various sources have confirmed, Phoenix is no longer the frontrunner in the Gay push, but rather the Toronto Raptors are. Toronto has pieced together a trade double-helix of PG Jose Calderon and big man Ed Davis. But the Grizzlies are in search of young, affordable talent, and a 31-year-old Calderon who makes $10 million a year doesn’t fit that scheme.
A third team needing a backcourt player of Calderon’s caliber would need to join the trade fest, in order for the gears of a potential move to fire up. With the recent Rondo sinking, the Celtics could be one of those in need.
The most likely scenario, presented by SBNation writer Sean_Corp, has the Detroit Pistons joining the ménage à trois. Detroit, who needs a pass-first point guard to complement Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, could be the ones needed to join the action. Toronto would receive Rudy Gay in the three-way trade, and the Grizzlies would end up with quality acquisitions in Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and Ed Davis.
With Gay’s luck, however, he’ll be kept for the remainder of the season, only to find himself checking the real estate classifieds come summertime.