If you have been a long time reader of this blog you are likely aware I really hate to talk about trade rumours. I hate this entire part of the season to a large degree. That said compared to the situation last season I am willing to take it. If you have been around social media today at all you have no doubt heard the latest rumour regarding the Raptors. Also I hope you heard about our interview with Matt Devlin which was pretty good. So where or who this originally started from I am not exactly sure and honestly am not all that interested. However, this is the alleged trade on the table:
Toronto Trades: #8 Draft Pick, Fwd Ed Davis and PG Jose Calderon
Memphis trades: Rudy Gay.
To get this out of the way I am fine with moving any of these assets the Raptors are said to be parting with. My thoughts on Jose are well documented and with an Olympics in front of him and him logging big minutes for Spain trading him sooner than later makes a lot of sense. Ed Davis to me has been a big under achiever. It is often talked about how scrappy a player his father was. How he had to fight to stick with teams and do all the dirty work. Maybe it skips a generation because Ed Davis seems to need to be constantly pushed to get effort out of him. At the end of the day I am not sold on him long term. Nice guy but seems to lack the self-motivation it requires to be great. Whatever you get at the 8th pick is not going to have a major impact on this roster. It just isn't.
That said do I think all of this is worth it for Rudy Gay. Also do I think Rudy Gay is even worth his own contract which only gets worse not better. The answer to that is no in both cases. That said he would address the Raptors glaring need at small forward. Well it was before this trade. After it the Raptors have no point guard under contract. They only hold the RFA rights to Jerryd Bayless. This would lead one to say what about all that Steve Nash stuff? Well the Raptors would lose about 3.2 million of their cap room to acquire free agents. But they also would not be spending money to sign an 8th pick to a contract. They would have an amnesty clause they could play as well and could renounce the rights to Bayless as other ways to account for the added salary for the upcoming season. So in short term the money could still be there to make an attractive contract offer to Steve Nash.
Nash could raise the level of Gay's play to some degree. I mean Nash has a history of doing that with a long list of players. Perhaps the closest example of which would be Shawn Marion? But does that account for the more than 4 million dollar raise in pay that Rudy Gay would get in his time in Toronto? His trade value would be based on what he made this year which was 15, 032,144 and max out in 2014-15 at a whopping 19,317,326. When you add this into the mix is Gay really worth it? Sanity and your capologist are screaming no. Also there is no guarantee that you land Nash unless B.C knows something we all don't. But he would have to REALLY KNOW to make this deal. To take a lesser option of Jeremy Lin or Dragic as a couple examples of suggested alternatives is a big step down. I like Bayless as much as anyone but if he ends up being your starter that is even worse.
Speaking of worse there has been ideas floated that Bargnani could replace Calderon and perhaps DeRozan for Davis in this deal. Honestly if Memphis even asked for this I would tell them you got a better chance of Big Country returning to the league to be your starting center. In other words "Hell No". In terms of the Raptors wiggle room they could offer a pick swap and collect the Grizzlies much later draft pick and sign that player at a much lower cap hit. Likely would be a point guard you would figure.
Some are suggesting that Andre Iguodala is a comparable option for the Raptors to trade for. They are right in saying that Gay is comparable to Iggy. What the logic bus forgot to tell them is Rob Babcock is not the current G.M in Philadelphia. They may in fact like Ed Stefanski but lightning will not strike twice and besides the Raptors don't have any Williams' to trade to Philly. Vince Carter trade jokes aside the price to trade in your own division likely becomes even higher and it might make almost any offer be rejected based on the close ties of the two clubs. In division trades are rare not to mention the last time these two teams made a deal, it did not exactly go well for either team as it turned out in the Kapono for Reggie Evans trade.
If you wanted to ignore all of that and just compare Gay to Iggy. I would say three things jump out for me.
1. Iggy has the shorter and better contract
2. He also is the better defender and already plays for a defensive minded coach in Doug Collins
3. The big negative is he has always been a high turnover player and is not as solid shooting the three as Gay. Ok that was two negatives.
The other piece of the puzzle that doesn't make sense is Calderon going the other way? Mike Conley and Jrue Holiday both make less than Jose and would likely remain as the starters. So why would Philly or Memphis make a move for him. The only logical answer would be to free up cap room to make a run at a free agent class in 2013 that could include Chris Paul and Dwight Howard potentially. It would also unload a long term contract for a couple young assets on top of Calderon. However still to me as the opposite end of both these trade rumours I am telling the Raptors to take a hike unless Bargnani or DeRozan become part of the conversation. More so Bargnani than Demar. Which I would suspect causes the Raptors to hang up the phone.
There I have done my duty and talked about a nasty dirty rumour. I think I need a bath now. I will listen to this while I am in the tub getting this dirty feeling to go away: