Well....its over. For better or worse, the Rudy Gay trade dilemma is finally complete. We traded Rudy Gay to Toronto for Ed Davis and a 2nd rounder in this years draft in addition to the Raptors sending Jose Calderon to Detroit so they can send us Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and a 2nd round pick.
The initial reaction from players is shocked and upset, and the initial reaction from most fans is pretty negative. But was it a terrible trade?
Well....it's not what I'd call great. The point of trading the bench was to free ourselves from the "need" to trade Rudy, and make sure we could get the best deal possible, and, obviously without knowing what else was out there, I'm not sure we got that.
That's not to say we didn't get good pieces. Tayshaun Prince, who will take over the starting forward position on the team, is a solid veteran player. He's currently shooting well over 43% from three point range, and has won a championship earlier in his career. I'm not crazy about his contract, specifically how long it lasts, but for this year, its not a terrible move.
Ed Davis, the main piece from the Raptors, should be an excellent bench big. He's an excellent rebounder, grabbing over seven a game in less than 25 minutes. He doesn't shoot very well, but I imagine he'll be the primary back up center, so he really won't need to.
Austin Daye is currently shooting 53% from 3, out of 40 attempts. He's probably just bench depth, and with his contract up at the end of the year, I don't expect him to be in Memphis for long.
The two-second rounders are nice, but in an already weak draft class, I don't know what we can expect out of them. Perhaps we can flip them for one first rounder? I don't know.
The biggest thing is that there is no question about who the best player on the team is now. The Grizzlies can return to being an inside/out team with the offense running through Marc and Zach, like it was in 2010 on the long playoff run. When teams decide to shut down the paint, we have a starting small forward who can make them pay dearly for it by making 3's. For all Grizzlies fans who have been following them closely, this is a huge, huge deal.
Is it a steal? Absolutely not. Are we the clear losers of the trade? That's not true either. Its going to take some time to see how this plays out and if this group of guys fits well together. At the moment, the front office accomplished its goal of unloading Rudy's contract, and, if its any consolation, the Hollinger analysis says we added wins, and Toronto lost them.
All in all, this isn't a fire sale or a blown up team. We're still the 4th seed in the West, and with a more consistent small forward, and with Zach returning to the best player on the team, there is definite room for growth. Stay tuned to see how this all plays out.