Boy, have injuries complicated things for a team that has long kicked around the idea of acquiring Gay. Jose Calderon won Kyle Lowry’s starting job when Lowry got hurt, and Calderon’s expiring $11 million deal is an easy fit in almost any 2013 mega-trade — even if the Grizzlies already have Mike Conley logging heavy time at Calderon’s position. Andrea Bargnani isn’t a fit in Memphis, but injuries to Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas have made dealing one of the Amir Johnson/Ed Davis duo a bit dicier.
Still: It’s easy to build a number of deals that get Memphis under the tax around Calderon and spare parts on either side. Whether Gay fits next to another non-shooter in DeMar DeRozan is a fair question, but the Raptors might be in that Milwaukee boat — unlikely to land a can’t-miss foundational star in free agency, and so willing to roll the dice on a “B” guy via trade.
This also might be the ultimate litmus test for Memphis: If a Calderon-centric deal is ultimately the best one they can find ahead of the trade deadline, do they just keep Gay and try to slough off $4 million elsewhere — or just swallow hard and pay the tax?