Wednesday the Raptors, Grizzlies and Pistons agreed to a six-player trade that sent Memphis star Rudy Gay to Toronto.
The Grizz received forward Ed Davis and guard Jose Calderon in exchange for Gay and backup center Hamed Haddadi. Memphis then sent Calderon to the Pistons for Austen Daye and Tayshaun Prince. The moves by the Grizzlies were clearly money motivated as they are attempting a rebuild during a season where they are definitely in contention for a playoff spot in the West.
Though the moves did surprise many around the league, it was no surprise that Memphis was interested in doing something to ease their luxury tax hit over the next couple of seasons. However they made a move last week (moving Marresse Speights and two others to Cleveland) that made sure they would avoid the tax this season. But apparently Memphis wanted more, even though coach Lionel Hollins lobbied to keep his starting five in place. He clearly lost that battle.
The move now puts the team’s focus on forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol. Not a bad combo though. Time will tell how smart this money move really was.