ESPN Insider Grades the Trades - Raptors Get C-
Detroit Pistons: A-
Memphis Grizzlies: B
Toronto Raptors: C-
Below is the Raptors analysis, read the whole thing here.
From another Insider piece, here's an excerpt:
Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo must really, really like Haddadi. That's the immediate reaction to the Raptors sending their starting point guard and a promising young forward in exchange for one of the least productive "max contract" players in the league.
Gay remains the "Exhibit A" counterexample to the argument that LeBron James is all athleticism and zero skill. A freak athlete, Gay scrapes the rafters on dunks, but he's not a reliable shooter, doesn't move the needle defensively and doesn't attack the rim like someone at his level of athleticism.
And at 26, this is pretty much what we're going to get.
Advanced stats are pretty "meh" on Gay. His player efficiency rating this season is a slightly below-average 14.3, but he's being paid like someone rated in the 20s. However, his numbers aren't just lukewarm by the standards of current Memphis VP of Basketball Ops and former ESPN Insider John Hollinger's metrics. Regularized adjusted-plus minus (RAPM) considers Gay to be an average player in the league and ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton's system sees Gay as being worth just 1.2 wins above replacement (WARP) this season, despite playing almost 36.7 minutes per game.
(It's worth pointing out that Davis, whom Colangelo sent to Memphis, has been worth twice as many wins this season -- 2.5 WARP -- than Gay in significantly less playing time.)
You can expect the Raptors to remain aggressive on the trade market, if not before next month's deadline then certainly during the summer. With Bargnani, Fields, and Lowry all inked to the kind of cap-clogging middling contracts next season that you like to avoid, and Gay's massive deal now on board, a trade centered around Bargnani might be the only way for Toronto to make any further kind of meaningful change.
It's easy to nitpick on the acquisition of Gay, and it is kind of like putting finishing touches on a painting missing more than a few key strokes. Plus, there are more than a few contracts on Toronto's ledger that have pay-to-performance ratios which are a little & uncomfortable. But if the Raptors want to add impact talent, they've got to take chances. If you're going to roll the dice, you do it on a player with the upside of Rudy Gay.