A blockbuster trade is in the works and it doesn’t involve Boston, yet.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has reported Memphis and Toronto are a third team away from sending Rudy Gay, and the three years and $37 million left on his contract, to the Raptors. This puts to an end the Rudy Gay for Paul Pierce trade rumors.
Since the Grizzles brought in new front office personnel, including former ESPN stat guru John Hollinger, the team has been working hard to get under the salary cap. They already traded three players and a first round pick to Cleveland and this latest deal should put them well under the cap.
(By the way, this is kind of nuts considering Memphis is currently sitting in the fourth spot in the West. Either Hollinger and the rest of the execs don’t think they can win it all or are willing to risk it seeing cap flexibility as more important.)
Woj says the Raptors are looking for a team to take on Jose Calderon’s expiring $10.5+ contract to make the deal work. Calderon is averaging 11.1 ppg, 7.4 apg and 2.4 rpg with a PER of 19.39 in 28 minutes this year.
What? A team looking to unload a pretty decent point guard that will be off the books at the end of the year? Seems like a certain team on the East Coast could use a point guard. No, not the Heat.
Since Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL there’s been some talk that the Celtics could acquire Toronto’s Kyle Lowry to fill in, but Calderon looks to be the one on the outs for the Raptors.
Calderon does make twice as much as Lowry, which one might think makes the deal harder to pull off. But in this scenario, Boston is not the desperate team, the Grizzles really want to unload Gay’s contract and Toronto really wants him.
The most hilarious scenario would be if Memphis took Jeff Green as part of the deal, as Hollinger has been very vocal about his feelings for Green’s game. (He doesn’t care for him very much or his contract) But Green does make much less than Gay and Memphis is said to be looking for a cheaper small forward so if financials are the real driving force, it could happen. Why not throw in Fab Melo and a couple second round picks just so Hollinger can still look himself in the mirror?
Two out of the three of Jason Terry, Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee would also work financially since the Celtics are so close to the cap that any trade would have to be an almost dollar for dollar match. Those three are locked up for at least the next three years and aren’t exactly lighting up the court so it wouldn’t be a very attractive package for either Toronto or Memphis, but hey, if they’re desperate enough then why not?
Untouchables in this scenario are Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger. KG and Pierce just because that would be way too much of a slap in the face to trade them for a rental point guard. In the same vein, a team should not trade future starters for a rental either. Anyone else on the roster is fair game.
Danny Ainge has said he isn’t pursuing any major deals and wants to see what this current roster has. That could be true. But remember, he is an NBA general manager, they aren’t known for their honesty.
I’m not usually for trade proposals where the Celtics give up their trash for other teams’ quality players, as they have no basis in reality, but a couple desperate teams can be a great opportunity for another slightly less desperate team like Boston.
Eric Blaisdell 1/30/2013 02:30:00 AM Tweet