Feb 20, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) and Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay (22) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (right) reacat at the end of the game at the Air Canada Centre. Memphis defeated Toronto 88-82. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back: Should Memphis have kept Rudy Gay?

Was shipping out Rudy Gay the right move?

Rudy Gay was traded from the Grizzlies to the Raptors in January of 2013, but was it a good deal?  The trade was a money saving move for the Grizzlies, but did it hurt their title chances?

There is no question that Gay is a very good player.  He could even be considered a fringe superstar.  He also provided scoring, which Memphis has severely lacked since his departure.

In return for Gay, the Grizzlies got Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis.  Davis and Daye are no longer on the team, and Prince is declining at an alarming rate.  As far as talent goes, Memphis most certainly got the short-end of the stick.  Gay is far more talented than any of those players, and it would appear that the only way this trade benefited the Grizzlies was financially.

Jan 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay (22) warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Grizzlies 104-83. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Keeping Rudy Gay would appear to have been a good move, but sending him to Toronto did help Memphis in a few ways:

  • It allowed them to have more money to re-sign Zach Randolph, which they did this off-season.  It also freed up space to sign Vince Carter.
  • It gave them an expiring contract in Tayshaun Prince, which will free up more money next season.
  • It allowed the offense to revolve more around moving the ball inside-out, instead of having Rudy in isolation situations.

So, although the Grizzlies lost talent, there were some positives as well.  Adding Vince Carter this off-season was huge, especially because of his skill-set.

Gay wasn’t a great shooter, whereas Carter is, and will help spread the floor in ways that Rudy couldn’t.  Spacing and spreading the floor are key to the Grizzlies’ offense this season.  Allowing Z-Bo and Marc Gasol to work down low and be able to pass out of the post are key.

Was shipping out Rudy Gay the right call?  It’s debatable.  Fortunately, things did work out, and this team is ready to win.

We may never know whether or not this team would have been better with or without Rudy Gay, but that’s okay, because this Grizzlies’ squad is set to have a great season.

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Tags: Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies Rudy Gay Zach Randolph

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