Are the Toronto Raptors Serious About Acquiring Rudy Gay?

Raju ByfieldAnalyst IIIJanuary 9, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 02:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 2, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

According to ESPN, the Toronto Raptors have once again engaged the Memphis Grizzlies in trade talks for the player they passed on over Andrea Bargnani: Rudy Gay.

Gay is a solid-scoring small forward who also plays defense; however, he is on the block because the Grizzlies no longer believe that he is worth the baffling max contract they signed him to in order to keep him in Memphis.

With new owners now running the Grizz, they are looking to get out of the luxury tax, and dealing Gay will get them there in one move.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors have made Jose Calderon, Ed Davis, first-round picks and others available in a potential Rudy Gay deal.

Gay is a top 10 small forward in terms of overall skill and scoring and would be a great fit for the Raptors if he decided to slash a bit more and bring up his field-goal percentage.


Is the price too much?

There are bound to be some Raptors fans who loathe the idea of giving up Ed Davis as he is finally beginning to live up to the promise of a late lottery pick. He has seemingly supplanted Bargnani as a starter albeit due to injury.

Calderon is and has been on the block, and if the Raptors can pull off a deal to get a superstar like Gay, then moving Calderon has to be counted as a good move. Considering he is on an expiring contract, the Raptors could look to sign him again this summer in free agency for the mid-level exception.

Davis, Calderon and picks may seem like a hefty price, but any time you can land a superstar and the best player in a deal, you usually walk away without any buyer's remorse.


Will the Grizz pull the trigger?

Now this is the tough one.

Ed Davis has really come into his own, but with the Grizzlies already boasting an all-star tandem of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol—with the impressive Marreese Speights behind them—they don't really need another big.

Speights put up a monster 22 points and 13 rebounds in his lone start this season while Randolph was out. This performance has likely made a package including Davis less attractive than it otherwise would have been.

Apparently the Grizz have insisted that Jared Dudley be involved in trade talks with the Phoenix Suns as well as first-round picks (according to Yahoo! Sports), which leads one to believe they are looking for someone who can play the same position as Gay and not spare parts who would be buried on the depth chart.

I am not calling Davis a spare part, but I am pointing out neither Calderon nor Davis would be a starter or a primary backup.

One thing is for certain: Rudy Gay will be moved by the deadline or this summer.

If the Raptors are serious about getting him, they will have to make everyone and anyone not named DeMar DeRozan available.