According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed in principle on a trade that would send star small forward Rudy Gay and reserve center Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors for veteran point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis. The Grizzlies are looking for a third team to send Calderon to so they can receiver a small forward in return. The third team is reported to be the Detroit Pistons according to Yahoo Sports.
The Pistons have coveted Calderon all season, and have Tayshaun Prince and Corey Maggette to deal. Both Prince and Maggette are in the last year of their contract and would fill void at small forward for the Grizzlies if Gay were to be traded. Detroit will reportedly send Prince and forward Austin Daye to Memphis for Calderon.
But whether the Pistons or Mavericks are the third team or some other team, Gay appears headed to the Raptors unless something drastic happens.
Memphis has $65 million allocated to four players next year, Gay, All-Star forward Zach Randolph, Center Marc Gasol, and point guard Mike Conley, Jr. teh Grizzlies owe Gay $37 million over the next two years. Just last week Memphis traded reserve forward Marreese Speights, along with guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and a future first round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Jon Leuer. The cost cutting measure saved the Grizzlies roughly six million dollars, and kept them under the luxury tax threshold for this season.
Right now, the penalty for exceeding the luxury tax threshold is dollar for dollar when you get $5 million over the salary cap. However starting next year the penalty will increase to $1.50-$4.50 per dollar when you get $5 million over the cap. There is a sliding scale based on how much you are over the cap and if you have violated the threshold before. The new ownership group led by Robert Para who took over the team in November vowed to make sure the Grizzlies did not pay the luxury tax either this year or next. The Grizzlies are currently 29-15 and have the fifth best record in basketball. It is the best start in franchise history.
Gay is averaging 17.2 points to lead the Grizzlies in scoring, along with, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is shooting 40.8% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. He makes 78% of his free throws. gay started all 42 games for the Grizzlies this season. The little used Haddadi averages only 6.7 minutes a game but has been playing more minutes since last week’s trade.
Power forward Ed Davis is in his second year with the Raptors. He has played in all 45 games for the Raptors this season, and started 24. He averages just under 25 minutes a game. Davis is averaging 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Davis is shooting 54.9% from the field and has yet to attempt a 3 pointer this season. He makes 65% of his free throws. The veteran Calderon averages 11.1 points, 7.4 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting 47% from the field and 42.9% from 3 point range. He makes 90% of his free throws.
Prince is averaging 11.7 points for the Pistons along with 4.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Prince is shooting 44.4% from the field and 43.4% from 3 point range. He makes 80% of his free throws. Prince has started all 45 games for Detroit. Day has only played in 24 games for the Pistons. He averages 14 minutes per game and scores 5.1 points, and 2.6 rebounds per game.
The Grizzlies are the only playoff contender of the alleged 4 possible teams involved. The Raptors and Pistons are well below .500 and 5 games or more out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.