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Rudy Gay Traded in a 3-Way. Let’s Look at the New Rosters

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The trade winds are blowing and Rudy Gay is heading to Toronto to join the Raptors in a three team deal that has heads scratching in the NBA.

Toronto gives up PF Ed Davis, PG Jose Calderone and 2013 2nd round draft pick; while receiving SF Rudy Gay and C Hamed Haddadi.

Memphis gives up SF Rudy Gay and C Hamed Haddadi; while receiving PF Ed Davis, SF Tayshaun Prince, PF/SF Austin Daye and Toronto’s 2nd round 2013 pick.

Detroit gives up SF Tayshaun Prince and PF/SF Austin Daye; while receiving PG Jose Calderon.

What does this mean for actual teams?  Let’s have a look at the rosters:

Toronto Raptors (assuming everyone is healthy)

C: Jonas Valanciunas -> Aaron Gray -> Hamed Haddadi
PF: Andres Bargnani -> Amir Johnson ->  Quincy Acy
SF: Rudy Gay -> Landry Fields -> Linas Kleiza -> Mickael Pietrus
SG: DeMar DeRozan -> Terrence Ross -> Alan Anderson
PG: Kyle Lowry -> John Lucas III

Basically, Toronto just bet that Rudy Gay will score like a max contract player when removed from the Grizzlies’ frontcourt-oriented system.  It isn’t clear if Haddadi will be kept or waived, but this is basically the roster Toronto is going to have for a couple years, barring unexpected trades (and perhaps an amnesty waiver).

Lowry is a quality PG, so as efficient as Calderon is, the cupboard wasn’t bare.  Well… they could really use a backup ahead of John Lucas III, but they do have a starter in place.  You’re looking at Valanciunas on the low block, Bargnani as a stretch 4, Gay and DeRozan slashing and Lowry orchestrating.

Is this a big upgrade?  Depends on if Gay plays like people thought his potential was a couple years back and who the new backup PG is.

It does suggest Toronto is committed to Bargnani, since they cleared out the other primary power forward for him, and Bargnani’s future in Toronto has been (and perhaps still is) up for debate.

Not a clear win or failure, this one needs to be played out on the court more than most trades do.  I wouldn’t begrudge anyone looking at it with suspicion.  The dice were rolled and a lot of chips are riding on Gay.

As for this season, with all the injuries, Gay would have to go on a real tear for the Raptors to land a playoff seed.  They’re not that far out, but they’re awfully banged up.

Memphis Grizzlies

C: Marc  Gasol -> Zach Randolph / Ed Davis
PF: Zach Randolph -> Ed Davis ->Darrell Arthur -> Jon Leuer
SF: Tayshaun Prince -> Quincy Pondexter -> Austin Daye -> Chris Johnson
SG: Tony Allen -> Tony Wroten
PG: Mike Conley -> Jerryd Bayless

It’s not like Haddadi was really seeing much floor time, so this is about breaking up Gay’s large contract across multiple assets.  Ed Davis will be competing for minutes at the 4/5 with Darrell Arthur and will probably get some.  Might be a slight upgrade on Arthur and the departed Speights, might not be.  We’ll see how he fits in the rotation.

Prince will step in to the starting SF slot and replace Gay.  Prince has won the finals.  He can play defense.  I don’t see him doing much posting up with Gasol and Randolph on the blocks, so figure he’ll be in the corners on offense.  He’s a solid veteran, but if he’s not taking the corner 3, the big bodies in the paint are likely to cramp his style offensively.

I’m not sure what will become of Austin Daye.  He’s a bit thin for a power forward, but he never established himself as a small forward in Detroit.  By the look of the roster, they’re more likely to try him at the 3 and perhaps see if he can give them some outside shooting off the bench.  Daye definitely needed a change of scenery and if it doesn’t take, Pondexter will still be the backup.

If you figure that Prince can step in defensively for Gay, shoot a higher percentage and 3-4 baskets per game will be redistributed, that *might* be a win.  If Davis and Daye (and whoever the 2nd round pick produces), that also *might* be a win.

It also might have little net effect, past making it a little easier for the Grizzlies to make trades with smaller salaries.

To be determined, but I’m more inclined to say it’s a push on the floor and a minor win for future trade potential.

Pistons

C: Greg Monroe -> Andre Drummond
PF: Jason Maxiell -> Charlie Villenueava -> Jonas Jerebko
————- and now the 1-3 zoo ——
SF: Kyle Singler -> Kim English -> Khris Middleton or perhaps Corey Magette leaves the bench?
SG: Brandon Knight /Rodney Stuckey -> Kim English
PG: Jose Calderon -> Brandon Knight/Rodney Stuckey -> Will Bynum

The Pistons are about to get a nice dose of chaos.  They’ve been playing combo guards at the point for a while and Calderon is an honest-to-goodness real point guard.  He’s also got an expiring contract, so who knows if he’ll be around next season.  More cap space if they need it.

The Pistons aren’t that far out of the #8 seed, with Boston and Philly on the verge of collapse, just ahead of them.  The Pistons are also playing a little better of late, so let’s assume they’re looking to make a push for the #8 seed and will be starting Calderon.

The front court is set, although at some point, you’re probably going to see Drummond starting at center and Monroe sliding to the 4.  That’s the future and it shouldn’t be that far off.  The point is set.  The wings… oh, this is going to be interesting.

With Prince gone, the small forward position is wide open.  Most likely Kyle Singler will be spending his minutes there.  Who’s backing him up?  Will Khris Middleton or Cory Maggette actually leave the bench?  I don’t know that I’d want to lay odds on that.  Kim English moves over from shooting guard?  Maybe.  Charlie Villenueva slides down from the 4?  We’ll have to find out.

Then there’s the bigger question: who’s the shooting guard.  With Sigler moved up to the 3, it would normally be Rodney Stuckey.  Except Frank may not want to bench Knight.  It should be one starting and the other backing up.

If Stuckey is the backup 2, expect Will Bynum to be the backup point, otherwise Bynum is likely the odd man out.

Do the Pistons have another trade in them?  That sure doesn’t look like a balanced roster and it wouldn’t surprise me.  If they fall further behind, expect to see a lot more of the young players.

Does this improve the Pistons?  Again, the answer is maybe.  If isn’t clear if this was a salary dump for an expiring contract, an attempt to make a playoff push, both or neither.  Certainly Calderon is an improvement at floor general but the 2/3 is a big question mark now.

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