The first major trade in this trade season has been the 3-team trade between Memphis, Toronto, and Detroit. The trade sent Rudy Gay to Toronto, Jose Calderon to Detroit, and Ed Davis, Austin Daye, and Tayshaun Prince to Memphis. Let’s look at the different ways this trade effects the teams involved, as well as the Brooklyn Nets.
Rudy Gay goes to Toronto.
This trade adds athleticism and excitement to Toronto, but not necessarily wins. The reason the Raptors made this trade was because the team has not made the playoffs since the Chris Bosh era (and I wouldn’t even call that an era) and the team has struggled to bring free agents to Canada. One way to get a semi-superstar player is by getting an overpaid one via trade, and that is exactly what they did. Rudy Gay is guaranteed for this season and the one after that, but he has a player option to leave after the 2014 season if he is not happy in Toronto.
Even though the Raptors don’t really have a need for Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry is their point guard of the future, Calderon is still a huge loss. Calderon played better than Lowry for most of the year and is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He has an extremely high basketball IQ and rarely makes mistakes or turnovers. He reads plays very well and knows how to get his teammates involved. Unfortunately for Toronto, the Raptors won’t realize how much of a luxury Calderon is until he leaves. Additionally, although Ed Davis is not a superstar, he had been playing very well this year and could have been a double-double guy in the future.
So how does this effect the Nets? It probably won’t, at least not this year. Even if Gay can somehow bring the Raptors to the playoffs, they will still not be able to catch Brooklyn. Next year, if the Raptors can stay healthy with the roster they have now, that could be a 45-win team and be a competitive team every night, which is not something they have been in the past. Potentially, every Atlantic Division team will have hopes of winning the division next season. The Nets and Knicks have both been good this year, the Celtics could be good again if Rondo returns healthy, the Sixers could be good if Bynum returns and plays well, and with this trade, the Raptors are hoping to be competitive, too.
Jose Calderon to Detroit.
This has the potential to be one of the best trades of this trade season for the Pistons. Although this team is still 5 1/2 games out of the 8th spot in the east, that spot is up for grabs and Calderon adds veteran leadership to a team that was lacking it. Calderon, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond could potentially develop some great chemistry, while Calderon tutors Detroit’s point guard of the future, Brandon Knight. Detroit still has a slim chance of making the playoffs, but at least they should be more watchable for the rest of the season.
The Nets have 3 more games left with Detroit this year, including one game next week. With this acquisition, expect the Pistons to be able to win at least one of those games.
Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis to Memphis.
Memphis made this trade to dump salary, which they accomplished. And on top of that, I really don’t think they lost too much. Tayshaun Prince has been a quality NBA player for years and is still playing at a pretty high level. He is still good enough to start for Memphis. Additionally, Ed Davis is a really nice pickup. The Grizzlies also recently traded away Marreese Speights, who had been a good big for them off the bench. Davis will step right into that role. Although he won’t be starting as he had been in Toronto, he should still be able to get enough playing time to be happy.
Memphis will really only feel the effects of this trade in close playoff games when they need somebody to step up and create their own shot with the game on the line. Rudy Gay had the ability to do that, much like Joe Johnson does on the Nets, and now Memphis is lacking a go-to player. This is still one of the best teams in the NBA, and luckily for Brooklyn, they are in the western conference and will only have one more game against the Nets this season.