Rudy Gay Trade Fallout

At last, our long national nightmare of Rudy Gay trade rumors is over. Or, to steal a bit from Baseball Prospectus that they stole from the Onion last week, 'Rudy Gay Trade-Rumor Era Ends With Rudy Gay Trade'.

So far, the 'official' part of the deal has Gay and Hamed Haddadi headed to Toronto, with Jose Calderon and Ed Davis moseying down to Memphis. Calerdon, however, is expected to be flipped to Detroit for what may be a package of Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. (UPDATE: The Pistons portion of the deal is now official.)

Here's a look at the fantasy impact of all the moving pieces:

- Gay goes from being the top scoring option on a solid playoff team to being the top scoring option on a mediocre team likely headed for the middle part of the lottery. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; the Raptors haven't had a scoring wing of his talent level since the days of Vinsanity and T-Mac, and he'll also be joining his good buddy Kyle Lowry to help get him comfortable in his new uniform. Toronto doesn't have a pair of post options like Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to take the heat off of Gay though, so while his raw scoring average might even go up his shooting percentage and efficiency might not.

- speaking of Lowry, he's now the man at the point in Toronto and has only John Lucas backing him up, so he should get heavy minutes (as long as he can stay healthy, which is no sure thing.) He should see a big spike in his production across the board.

- Andrea Bargnani has to be happy too. There was a real possibility, given how well Davis had played in his absence, that the big Italian would have to come off the bench once he got healthy, but now the way is clear for him to rejoin the starting five. Gay's rebounding ability also makes it a little easier for the Raptors to live with Bargnani's liability in that area.

- Davis is now stuck behind Randolph and Gasol in the Grizzlies' front court, and while he's clearly a better option than the likes of Jon Leuer or Darrell Arthur off the bench, his minutes and production will still take a hit unless Randolph gets injured.

- Haddadi might get a few more minutes in the short term in Toronto, but once Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas get healthy he'll go back to being a foul sponge at the end of the bench.

- Prince won't be able to replace all of Gay's scoring, so expect Randolph and to a lesser extent Gasol to get more looks down low. There's also more incentive for Jerryd Bayless to get minutes at the two next to Mike Conley Jr., rather than coming off the bench behind him. Daye's role probably won't be much different in Memphis than it was in Detroit.

- Calderon's the biggest wild card here. The Pistons have little incentive to start him over Brandon Knight and likely acquired him primarily for his expiring contract, so his minutes and production could take a huge hit. On the other hand, Knight isn't exactly setting the world on fire and Rajon Rondo's injury probably opens up a playoff spot for one of the lesser teams in the East, so Detroit could get frisky and make a run with Calderon leading the charge. Stranger things have happened.

- someone's going to have to play small forward for the Pistons. Jonas Jerebko is the most likely player to inherit most of Prince's minutes and is probably worth jumping on right away, but there's always a chance Corey Maggette pokes his head out of the doghouse and gets a look as well.


By: Kevin Payne
On: 1/30/2013 5:16:00 PM
I'm curious on your opinion here Erik. Maybe I'm missing something here from a real basketball stand point but why did the Raptors give Landry Fields the money they did and now trade for a starting small forward? And what was wrong with Ed Davis who has been playing pretty well lately (I could buy his defense isn't up to par)? The addition of Gay also means less time that Derozan and AAnderson are on the floor together. Are they really going with Bargs as a power forward and, gulp, Aaron Gray as their presence in the paint?
By: Shannon McKeown
On: 1/30/2013 5:19:00 PM
Agree that the Pistons have little incentive to play Calderon over Knight. Calderon's main appeal to Detroit was his expiring contract. Knight is still a building block for the future in Motown. I expect the team to primarily run a three-guard rotation with Knight (starting PG), Stuckey (starting SG) and Calderon. Meanwhile, Singler will slide over to small forward, which is his natural position. I doubt Maggette gets much run, but with Daye being out of town, Jerebko should find himself back in the rotation. Half of Detroit's roster is on an expiring contract now, so the team could even get creative with other moves before the deadline.
By: Erik Siegrist
On: 1/30/2013 5:27:00 PM
Fields was offered his contract as much to shut the Knicks out of the bidding on Nash as it was to acquire the player himself... he fits better as a glue guy off the bench anyway, so in that regard I don't think it's a bad move. The extension to DeRozan, who's now maybe the fourth option on offense, is less defensible.

As for the front court, they're in trouble in the short term no matter what. Jonas V and Bargnani should be back at about the same time though, with Amir Johnson backing up both and Gray and Haddadi for depth.

To me the biggest question is what happens with DeRozan, Gay and Bargnani - all guys with questionable defensive chops and toreador reps - starting for Dwane Casey. That seems like a blowup waiting to happen. It wouldn't shock me if Colangelo's not done retooling and tries to swap Bargnani for a big who can provide more rebounding and interior defense. Gasol's the player all the Raps fans want, but somebody like Mozgov might be more attainable.
By: Erik Siegrist
On: 1/30/2013 6:33:00 PM
Hmmm... now that I look at it, the combined salaries of Bargnani and DeRozan are just about a perfect match for Pau Gasol's...
By: clemeno
On: 2/2/2013 8:01:00 AM
Does Bargnani fit long-term in the Raptors' plans? He's never been a traditional four/five and I would think the organization would like a better interior scorer than Valanciunas to give Gay/DeRozan a better chance at succeeding. As Erik suggests, a home with the Lakers' lineup is a better fit, but only if they have Dwight Howard beyond this season. Would Toronto have to package Ross with Bargnani, who has two years left after this current season, to get a deal done? DeRozan just signed four-year deal, so moving his and Bargnani's contract might be difficult.

Whatever happens, it was a nice win for the Raptors last night. I didn't see any of the game, but thumping the Clippers and holding them to 34 percent shooting was impressive.

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