Instead, a move for Gay would probably have to be the first of many moves. Bargnani’s tenure has been over-examined by now, and it is likely his time with the Raptors is almost done. But it is not clear if Gay and DeRozan, just signed to a four-year contract extension, would fit well together. Neither is a good three-point shooter, something you usually need from at least one wing. The Raptors are still a few moves away from being a solid playoff team. Gay, or any sub-superstar player, would not be a cure-all.
Whether it ends up being Memphis or a third team as part of a Rudy Gay trade or just another team in a yet unknown trade possibility, I still feel like there has to be a taker for Calderon’s expiring contract out there somewhere. The obvious question revolves around what kind of value there is for said expiring contract around the league, and how that value compares to the Raptors’ perceived value of Calderon.
Preferably, the Grizzlies want a less expensive small forward to plug into the lineup for Gay, sources said. Memphis has been relentless in shopping Gay over the past several weeks. In a proposed deal, Memphis would likely receive another young Raptors player and a future draft pick, sources said. The Grizzlies have unsuccessfully tried to pry Raptors rookie Terrence Ross as part of the deal, sources said. Toronto has deemed Ross untouchable in these talks.
Here’s a massive deal that’s legitimate: trade Kyle and Landry Fields for Sullinger, Jeff Green, Fab Melo and Leandro Barbosa. Our front court suddenly is one of the youngest and deepest in the NBA, while our wings and back court suffer. This is a white-flag trade, meaning we’re surrendering any serious chance of sneaking into the playoffs this season. The team would be too unbalanced to contend.
DeRozan, in the month of January, is averaging 15.2 points, down form the 18 he averaged in December and down further from the 18.9 he averaged in November. What has been happening, particularly this month, is teams are loading up on DeRozan more than ever, and in adjusting to this, DeRozan has been forced to become a more willing and more aware distributer of the basketball.
Money is a valid concern for other teams. They have a right to be wary of taking on that kind of contract, even if Calderon is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. The NBA has really strengthened the luxury tax penalties. Teams are able to spend freely and go over the salary cap like they once were. It would be one thing if Calderon was one of the best point guards in the league. The short-term pain of the financial penalties would be well worth the gain of making a deep run in the postseason, possibly winning a title.
With the development Davis has shown this season, and the heart Calderon has always provided this franchise, is Gay really worth it? When for nearly $10 million more a year and three years older in age he’d provide the team with the same things DeRozan does? Especially, when it’s factored in Gay’s playing time would instantly limit Terrence Ross’ development. How will Ross find the floor over guys like Gay, DeRozan, Alan Anderson and Landry Fields? His minutes would be limited at best. The name value might be attractive but numbers never lie.
Because the Raptors likely aren’t “bad enough” this year to keep their top-3 pick, they will watch somebody else draft Brampton, Ont., native Anthony Bennett, the UNLV freshman forward who has shot up this year’s draft rankings by averaging 18.4 points and 8.6 boards a game going into Tuesday. But that’s life. Bennett is great, but he’s something of a tweener and not a once-in-a-generation player. Andrew Wiggins is. Andrew Wiggins is the real deal.
Not a fan of trading Ed Davis but it could be a good shake up for Toronto. A larger, multi-team blockbuster that sees the Raptors part ways with Calderon, Davis, Lowry and Bargnani – or even three of those four players – would hopefully see the Raptors acquire at least a couple of impact players or multiple young assets in the form of players and draft picks. Whoa, let’s not go crazy here.
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