Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) has been traded to Toronto. / Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to send small forward Rudy Gay and center Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon, forward Ed Davis and a second-round pick, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Calderon will be sent to Detroit in the deal in exchange for veteran small forward Tayshaun Prince and fourth-year forward Austin Daye. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the deal has not been finalized.
The eight-year veteran has wanted out of Toronto for quite some time, but the Grizzlies - who have Mike Conley as their starting guard and veteran Jerryd Bayless as their backup - hardly needed him and were on the lookout for other pieces that could come their way as a result. Dallas and Boston were also in the mix to land Calderon.
The Grizzlies do have a need for more depth down low after trading forward Marreese Speights to Cleveland on Jan. 22, which would explain their desire to land Davis. While Calderon is in the final year of his deal (paying $10.5 million this season), Gay has approximately $37 million left on his contract after this season and he's clearly too pricey a player for the Grizzlies' new ownership and management team.
The Grizzlies, who were purchased by 34-year-old Robert Pera in October, traded Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round pick to the Cavaliers for forward Jon Leuer recently as a way of getting under the luxury tax that becomes more punitive next season. They currently have a payroll of approximately $67 million, and time will tell if there's a price to be paid for breaking up this group that has evolved quite nicely in recent years.
Memphis, which is currently fourth place in the Western Conference at 29-15, traded for Gay on draft night in 2006 after he was taken eighth overall out of the University of Connecticut by Houston. He has averaged 17.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in his career. The move should help the Raptors (16-29) get out of the Eastern Conference cellar, and could ultimately save the job of general manager Bryan Colangelo as he nears the end of his contract this summer.
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