While the Raptors were losing to the Warriors on Monday night, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that according to “sources with knowledge of the talks,” the Raptors and Grizzlies “are engaged in active trade discussions” with regards to Toronto acquiring Rudy Gay.

While Stein later writes that the potential Raptors/Grizzlies deal could eventually include more teams, and that it is believed Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani are all available, his main report is that Calderon and Ed Davis are the “cornerstones” of Toronto’s offer for Gay and that the Raps also covet Memphis power forward Darrell Arthur.

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, but since that added tidbit is just that, let’s focus on the potential of a Calderon and Davis for Gay and Arthur deal.

I’ve made my stance known on Rudy Gay. Coming into the season, I thought a player of his ability was just what the Raptors needed at the small forward position, even with his hefty price tag. But since then, Gay looks like a player who has both hit his ceiling and has seriously regressed. He went from borderline All-Star and arguably a top-30 player to a physically gifted forward barely getting more out of himself than DeMar DeRozan, all while making max money.

Depending on potential moves made with regard to Bargnani, Kleiza and a couple others, the Raptors actually could have near max cap space this summer, and if Gay declines his 2014-15 player option to seek more guaranteed money in another long-term deal at that time (he would obviously need at least $20m total in a new deal to even consider declining player option), his contract may only consist of one more very expensive season next year, so it’s not even the money that necessarily concerns me. It’s the fact that if Gay doesn’t get back to playing up to his potential, the Raptors will be trading a 23-year-old big man in Ed Davis who has looked very promising this season for a player in Gay who might not even make this team that much better.

Pairing the Rudy Gay of old with a healthy Kyle Lowry in the Eastern Conference would almost surely be the backbone of a playoff team, and with expected developments from DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross (I’d actually rather see the better shooting Ross start with Gay since DeRozan’s game is too similar), that team might even have some intriguing upside. But if you’re a Raptors fan, you know that deals like this hardly ever go Toronto’s way, and I could just as easily see that team becoming an expensive lottery fixture as much as I could see them becoming a promising young playoff team.

The possibility that a fresh start and a seriously increased role could revitalize Gay is tempting, but based on what we’ve seen so far this season, I fear that the Raptors would be trading a young controllable talent with potential for an overpaid talent who’s already reached his prime, all without the team getting much better.

I suppose it could be just the kind of gamble that this franchise and fanbase desperately need to make, but it’s more likely the kind of short-sighted move that sets them back in their ongoing rebuild yet again.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong about that and that if I am right, that these reported talks end up going nowhere.

Comments (58)

  1. NOOOOOO, NOT THIS GUY!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I have absolutely zero problem trading davis in this trade. Simple fact being his upside is a role player. Also, the raptors FINALLY rid themselves of calderon and will presumably play lowry more which is what they should have been doing already. Basically, getting gay for calderon is great value. Losing davis doesnt hurt that much in my opinion but I know some will disagree. If its a bigger deal with more teams and Bargnani is included im even happier.

    • Raptors need Calderon not Lowry. Out of all the pg that have come to take his spot Jose is still the starter. What does that tell you? Re: Ed Davis ceiling being a role player; he has all star potential down the line and is developing at a great rate. Gay is way too much like DeMar to go out & pay $6,000,000 more than DeMar for someone who isnt much better especially when you factor age, progression, stats at same age etc… Toronto media likes to question whether DeMar will be worth $9.5M, how about $15M+ to Rudy? No thanks. Rudy to ATL & JSmoove to TOR or deal with Lakers n do Lowry, Bargnani n fillers for Gasol n fillers & link up the Spanairds in Toronto.

      • Agree with most of what you said here. Ad is obviously a hockey fan and can’t recognize talent unless it has skates on.

      • @Liberal – “Raptors need Calderon not Lowry. Out of all the pg that have come to take his spot Jose is still the starter. What does that tell you?”

        It tells us that you and Hope Caper must have just started watching this team recently and are speaking out parts of what you learned or you both are trying t re-write history to make your point about your lover boy Calderon.

        JC won the job over Ford because Ford ended up with spinal damage injury that altimatley took his career. He was never the same player (where ever he played) since that injury – he was lucky to walk again let alone play ball….The injury decided that battle – and as I recallit was TJ who starting, even in the play-offs that year!
        JC didn’t beat out Jack – JC was traded and the decision was to keep Jack and move JC – then, whoops! Jordan retracks the trade – because before that trade JC was a non defense (still is) injury prone (hamstringgand ankle at that time) scoring 10 pts per game making 10 million a year nobody player…nobody wanted JC then and nobody offered anything good for this summer
        JC beat out Mike James – so what, who hasn’t!
        They history and the way you seem to remember it – are far far apart! so far that, it’s comical to listen to you talk!

        And the fact JC is staring now is for 2 simple reason (NOT because he is better) – 1. He is playing his best ball of his career as a Raptor (and still is only comparable to Lowry – at JC’s best). @ because he playing well, they are show casing him for a trade – any sports idiot knows this – it happens all the time in every sport and it’s happening with JC and the Raps this year.
        What even makes me laugh more – is of coarse Calderon’s Boy Friend and Doug Smith want-to-be Hope Caper agree’s with your “recreation” of fact and what really happen with history of the “PG controversy”.

        • Great historical account slanted of course to your point of view. Actually TJ and Calderon were playing two different styles which seemed to be working out pretty well. Some teams Calderon was the better PG and in others TJ was better. I remember Al Holford taking TJ down and I believe he did it on purpose because TJ was scorching them. Al made the big act after like it was an accident but watch the replay and there was no doubt that he intended to injure. There was a foul call but no intent to injure and everybody but poor TJ moved on. As you said he was never the same after.
          I never saw Mike James as a competition for Jose’s position. I think when people talk about that time when he was with the team they are just stating that he was here but was not a solution to finding a better PG. Don’t get me wrong. There are better PGs than Jose. None of them are available at this time nor are they likely to come to TO.

          Every coach who has had Jose play for them loves him. Even crusty Smitch likes what he brings. But what do they know? After all they just coach. No lets defer to your opinion.
          My comments aren’t based just on what I see from Jose alone but the people around him. His fellow players lover his ability to make plays, to see the floor, and his attitude. But not you. Well that;s OK you keep on coming out and believing what you want just don’t try to get others to see things the way you do because you will become very frustrated with other people. I could go on but really what’s the point? You’re going to believe what you believe.

          I’ve been watching the Raps since they started and I have played and coached basketball for many years all at the amateur level. I don’t consider myself an authority but I have looked at and studied basketball more than the average fan. I’m not saying this to impress you but you did make the comment that I just started watching basketball, the Raps particularly, and that is just BS. So thought I would clear the air.
          Have a good day.



      • Kyle Lowry is never healthy. Check out his career in NBA. Even when he is physically he is still an egomaniac!

    • god help us all. this is exactly the kind of basketball fan we DONT need.

  3. My question is, if it’s a multi-team trade involving talks of parting ways with Calderon AND Lowry,who would the raps have to fill point?
    … and could we just THROW in Bargnani? Maybe Memphis will trade the Raps a bag of balls for him… or some Primo Pasta…

  4. Uhh, did you really suggest that there was even a remote possibility of Rudy Gay opting out of NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS in ’14/15? Get real.

    • I think he meant if gay can get a long terms deal at that time tahts worth more in guaranteed money tahn 19 for year then it is possible he opts out. Not that crazy imo

    • Raptor management probably told him to say that. It is NEVER going to happen.

  5. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bbehgx6

    Toronto, Boston, and Memphis trade that allows Toronto to keep Ed Davis, but not ridiculous for the other teams (OK maybe Memphis loses out with the lame contracts).

    • A good try, but I can’t see Memphis doing that deal.

    • @Jon…I like it! I would do that deal if I Memphis…Green, Lee are moveable contracts if needed in the future – so is Bargs if he shows he can shoot over 40% again

  6. I still think Gay would be a huge upgrade for this team as I stated the last time these rumours popped up (Mostly because the roster is in such bad shape especially at small forward) but I think it’s about time we address the bigger picture when it comes to these rumours and how Colangelo as a lame duck GM still has the power to even consider a move like this.

    How many short sighted spastic moves will it take before he loses his job? This is such a terrifying scenario, moves Davis, ensures Bargnani stays, etc. so the team can finish 9th.

    Jesus, get this guy out of here already so someone with a consistent vision can have a go.

  7. ugh, if davis goes in a trade for gay, i imagine the whole nba will be laughing at us in 2016

  8. not worth it ed davis has a higher ceiling then rudy. Wouldn’t mind swinging a deal for cory joseph tho for a solid price haahahhaha

  9. To me, trading a for Gay makes no sense. you already have the same player in DDR… so why get him. why not make DeMar play the 3 and play Ross at the 2? still trade Primo, but not for Pau. Is there anything you could do to get J Smith? clearly Caldy is doing his job and getting people involved at an efficient rate.

  10. I wouldnt mind putting a package of lowery and primo for a guy like jeff green, would that be a possibility??

  11. Believing that Lowry and Gay would form the backbone of a play off team is quite a statement. Hopefully you were under the influence when you wrote your blog. Otherwise you are delusional. Lowry is not a rookie. You and other Lowry pushers seem to think this guy has nothing but upside. Can he get better as a player? Absolutely.
    Well how much upside does Amir have right now? He and Lowry have been in the league about the same amount of time. They will both get better as players but not much upside. No what you see is what you get. It remains to be seen if Lowry can score and run this team at the same time. He hasn’t done it anywhere else so there is not even that to build on.
    If these trade rumours should prove true I’m not sure what BC will have gained unless they are high draft picks which means that this team is 3 or 4 years away at best. They got nothing for Bosh and that has been a huge hole to fill. If I were TO I would find the guys who found Carter, T-Mac, Stoudamire and then I would hire them to find me 3 more like that. It amazes me that the Raps have drifted along over the years never good enough to compete but never bad enough to get a star. If BC pulls the trigger on this one then that to me is an open admission he is out of ideas and now it’s scramble time.

  12. Ugggh… I have nothing against Gay as a player (maybe his contract), but this seems more like a short-sighted attempt by BC to save his job by trying to make the playoffs. What happened to rebuilding the team, or has that train long-ago left the station when the team decided to part ways with a draft pick for a PG we likely didn’t really need in the first place (at that point in the rebuild) and by overpaying big time for Fields?

    It just seems like the Raps would be getting in Rudy Gay what they already kinda have in DDR, and all in the hopes of reaching that ‘best case scenario’ of getting swept in 4 games by Miami.

  13. Rudy Gay, Demar Derozan and Landry Fields… too many big contracts tied up at the wing positions and not enough talent to justify it.

  14. Holly Mckenzie reported that back at raptors pre-camp Kyle Lowry had told her that Rudy is one of Kyle’s closest friends in the nba. hmmm…….

  15. Bring Rudy, Raptors need talent and more talent.

    Instantly the best SF in years and there’s still Amir and possibly (*gasp*) Bargnani at the PF spot (assuming Davis/Calderon are involved).

    A dynamic Lowry at the point, Ross and Derozan at the wing and it’s the most athletic team in years.

    Of course, all depends on the final price.

  16. Is no one else worried about getting rid of Calderon and keeping a guy with such a propensity for injuries?

  17. It is hard to get rid of Lowry. Nobody likes the guy, Rudy Gay may be his only friend. Jose’s numbeers are better, and he is a better team guy. I don’t even think Lowry will be playing in the NBA 3yrs from now. Seven years in the league, no up side, and minimal improvement. Looks like we are going to be stuck with him for a bit.

    Rudy Gay does not help the PG situation, and Arthur should not even be considered.

  18. @Raptorn – yeah there is, they are on Doug Smiths blog at the Star – beware though, they are mostly over 50 years of age, live outside of Ontario and have no real insight or knowledge to the game. It’s a joke of a read especially the comments, no “real” basketbal conversations – but at least people will agree with you!

    • I’m in New Brunswick. Sorry, didn’t realize my opinion or insight in to the Raptors would only be valid if I lived in Ontario, or was under 50 years of age. I have to be honest and say that could be one of the most biased comments I’ve ever read on this blog. Oh well, off to the star I go.. Facepalm.

      • @Raptron
        Sorry dude – didn’t mean to insult you – I love New Brunswick. If you want to go read the star , then go. But don’t look onto me for acceptance when it come to the Raptors, who to say what I think is right..it’s just my opinion, nothing more nothing less. Have strength in your opinions and convictions – how can one man (me) have that much power unless you allow it!?!!! …In the words of the great Bob Dylan…”it ain’t me babe, it ain’t me you looking for babe!”. Go read the Star – read both blog IMO…my point was, it is on here you will get a higher caliber of conversation, insight and knowledge and you’ll be able to have an opinion. You don’t get any of this at the Star on Doug Smith’s blog unless you agree Calderon is the best – and you obvious do. You wondered where to find these people, and I helped you!

        • Go read my original post again and explain why we’re even discussing the sun. You obviously couldn’t comprehend how me asking if anyone was worried about Lowry’s injuries could possibly NOT be related to my (Unstated) undying love for Jose.

  19. I like Rudy Gay – I don’t like his $19 mil/year. He’d be on a good contract at $12 mil/year. You don’t want to give up young assets to take on a max contract guy who’s not even all-star calibre. It’s Memphis that wants the cap space – they should be sweetening the pot for Toronto.

    Don’t give up assets to take on a max contract now unless you’re getting a franchise cornerstone player.

  20. guys really? i know you are all big raptors fan but be realistic. you guys are seriously over rating ed davis and demar derozan. do ye even watch other basketball teams? ed davis top potential is to be a completely average, servicable big man at best. watch him play, he doesnt have a smooth jumper or good footwork, he just isnt what you guys are hoping for. derozan is a wing player that cant shoot the ball, hes another completely average player who wouldnt start on most teams. relax guys if they can get gay for any of these guys besides lowry i say pull the trigger.

  21. also they are saying its possible to get darryl arthur with gay. that would be a robbery, D.A is just as good as ed davis and has more potential i.m.o

  22. i hate how stubborn colangelo is, but man did he draft some good players in jonas/davis/ross, at least he did something good before hes gone

  23. Umm, I just want to point out that Lowry is NOT dynamic. He is pudgy, often injured, and has been a disaster in most of the games he has played in. Calderon has outplayed him by a long shot, and has remained classy and focused through all the trade rumors. I would never make this deal. I would prefer we stay the course, develop the talent we have, and have an other solid draft.

    The only people I want traded are Lowry and Bargnani. Not sure what kind of sad package you can get for those two, but I’ll take it anyway.

  24. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    Gay was never worth max money, and isn’t even worth the money Demar is getting at this point. Darrell Arthur is nothing.

    It is so obvious at this point that any good moves Colangelo makes are purely by accident.

  25. if i was memphis i’d value bargnani over ed davis. how is davis the cornerstone to any deal? he’s a grinder. makes more sense for both teams if bargs was involved.

  26. no need for the raps to make this trade right now it just doesnt make much sense, we arent going to make the playoffs with 13 games under 500 not to mention we have atlanta clips and heat this week so will most likely be 16 games below 500. colangelos main priority should be trading the other power forward named andrea bargnani not the one who is playing well for us and showing signs of a good young big. If were going to trade for gay it should be in the off season so he can have a full training camp with the raps and not just be thrown into the mix. and what does this trade mean for bayless?…calderon is the last player bayless wants to see in memphis.

  27. haha do you think that memphis cares about keep a sub par back up point guard like bayless happy? thats ridiculous and has no effect on if this trade happens or not

    • If rather have Zach Randolph no?

    • sub par eh cause Bayless had 21 pts 9asst 5 reb and 2 turn overs against philly last night. now this trade makes sense cause there looking for a 3rd team to take Calderon. Memphis doesn’t want him and doesn’t need him. Bayless at his price is doing fine with Memphis and they sure as hell don’t want or need any pg controversy in Memphis.

  28. Lowry , Calderon , Davis , Bargs , Amir, DD . Use any of these players you want to acquire Demarcus Cousins. Colangelo is the antithesis of Anthopolos. NO LATERAL moves please Bryan. It’s the same thing over and over with him. I Don’t want Gay . We have to many average players as is .

  29. I really hope they don’t make this trade. I’d rather wait, keep these guys together for the rest of the season and see what happens via free agency.

    Gay seems to have hit his ceiling and I’d rather wait to see what DeRozan can do at the same position. At least he has shown signs of improvement each season and comes at a lesser cost.

    I will admit though, I haven’t really kept an eye on Arthur. Is he that much of a better asset than Ed Davis (that’s an actual question, not a statement)?

  30. For all the calderon fanboys out there check out this tweet:

    Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA

    In engagement of 3rd teams for possible Rudy Gay-to-Toronto deal, Raptors struggling to find landing spot for Jose Calderon, sources tell Y!

    Yeah, that should tell you how calderon is viewed around the league. Nobody wants an overpaid backup pg. Even teams like that are desperate for a pg. BC better not resort to trading lowry like he did with jack when the MJ sqaushed the CHA deal.

    • @AD
      ha! I just read that…it only goes to figure Calderon will some how make it so he screws this organization as much as he can. NOBODY wants him!!!!!!! I have never heard ANYONE give me a great example or reason on how or why Calderon is a winner…he is a serviceable PG who is getting paid too much…his “goods” even out with his “bads”….he is a player who would be a great back up at about 4.5 – 5 million per year. Nobody has ever been able to make a good point as to what he does so well that allows him or his teams to be considered winners – because he ain’t one!

      The Raps fan who LOVE him – they do because they speak from a fans point of view – same old, same old about the 2-3 things he does well, ignoring and excusing the 3-4 things he does very badly and because they ignore the bad things – I personally cannot take them serious in a conversation about NBA talent. With every other player they talk about, I would be thinking they don’t understand the “full” scope on what makes for talent and at what level in the NBA – after reading this piece from Yahoo Sports, and after this summer when nobody wanted him…after the botched trade with the “cats, it should be enough proof that Jose Calderon is not worth as much as a player or a player to trade as “the fan” inside them thinks!

      • @james

        Yup, at $5M/yr calderon is a very good NBA back up pg. At his salary currently nobody wants him and/or give up anything of value for him.

    • Woj clarified, not that I expect you’ll change your mind.

      Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA

      As for finding a spot for Calderon, yes, teams have interest in him. Yet how much are they willing to contribute to MEM-TOR in 3-way deal?

      • Ok, so basically some teams have interest but dont want to give up anything of value for him. Not much better.

      • @ Jays of Thunder – its not that I don’t want to change my mind – the facts don’t allow it! Calderon is not an all-star and won’t be – fact! He himself has proven this to us for seven years now. It’s a fact no other team see’s valuable in him either – not at what the fans of Calderon believe he is – I trust the experts. It’s time to move on with him, it happens and IMO Calderon is that guy. I’m not saying he sucks or cannot produce…I’m saying he is not worth 10 million, he is average as starter in this league – time to upgrade that position. JC even played back-up to Lull this summer in the Olympics – what does that tell you!

  31. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it now, raptors don’t have a great record with Jose running the show and ed Davis has to be thrown in the trade because you don’t just get a player like Rudy Gay if you try to give garbage back. Now if we don’t get Gay then I hope bc goes after j smoove.It’s time to move on and finally spend some money on players that have the ability to impact the team immediately and perhaps be an all star. If any of you guys watch raptors then you would know that a lot of our losses are because of close games. Ever since bosh left there hasn’t been a clutch player who can consistently win tight games for you. Rudy Gay can close out games and he could be our go to guy (something raps need badly). It’s time to make the playoffs maybe not this year but definitely next year if we get a guy like gay or j smoove because obviously this young team can’t make the playoffs on their own.

  32. and….

    In my opinion, they should focus on getting rid of the guys riding the pine who are making a ton of money for, pretty much, no reason (Bargs and Kleiza).

  33. Doesn’t Lowry/Derozan/Gay/Amir/Val put you in the same hole the Grizzlies are in offensively? They’re a bad offensive team basically because no one can spread the floor. The only reason they’re able to scrape by is because of their elite 1-5 p&r combo and the fact that they’re tremendous on the offensive glass. Put Gay in that Raps lineup and you run into the same problems, except Lowry is not particularly good in p&r situations and Gasol is about 300x better in every aspect of the game than JVal right now (his passing skills are big in that offense too). Throw that lineup out there and get ready for some ugly iso ball once teams pack the paint and take away the slashing that is the strength of both Gay/DD’s games. Bargnani as a stretch 4 is probably a better fit than you’d think in that lineup, but no one really wants to keep him around, do they? Even if Casey could get those guys playing league average-ish defense, you’re still talking about locking yourself into an expensive roster with 7/8 seed first round exit upside for the next two seasons. Sounds like a horrible, horrible idea to me.

    The mildly intriguing alternative would be Gay at the 4 with Ross in the lineup, although you then run into huge defensive/rebounding issues. Obvious comparison is Carmelo at the 4 for NYK, who despite having Tyson Chandler are still middle of the pack defensively and well below average on the glass. Also, Gay obviously doesn’t have the versatility that Melo has offensively. If it were another team experimenting I’d love to see how that turned out, but for the Raptors I don’t think the reward is worth the risk.

  34. Anyone else have a feeling this is close to being done.

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