The Memphis Grizzlies, Raptors and Pistons agreed to a 6-player trade that sent star swingman Rudy Gay to Toronto.
The Memphis Grizzlies, in the middle of a money-motivated makeover, acquired forward Ed Davis and veteran guard Jose Calderon in the deal that also sent backup center Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors.
Memphis then shipped Calderon to Detroit for Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince.
The Memphis Grizzlies also received a 2013 second-round pick from Toronto as part of the deal.
The Mavericks, sources said, were also interested in taking Calderon but were not prepared to surrender swingman Vince Carter, whom Memphis coveted to help fill the void created by Gay’s exit.
Memphis GM Chris Wallace thanked both Gay and Haddadi for their time with the Grizzlies.
“We are excited to add 3 players who bring with them an incredible amount of value to our team and have achieved incredible success on the pro, college and Olympic levels,” Wallace said in an announcement. “In these players, we welcome NBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist Tayshaun Prince, as well as up-and-coming athletic forwards Ed Davis, who won an NCAA title at North Carolina, and Austin Daye.”
The moves surprised many around the league, including Calderon.
“It’s been my home for 8 years,” Calderon said in Atlanta, shortly before leaving the arena. “I’ve done everything possible for this team. It’s tough. The fans have been with me since Day One. It is tough.”
Prince and Daye have both spent their complete careers with Detroit, and Prince was the last link to the proud championship team of 2003-04. Baseball lines
“Trading a player like Tayshaun Prince, who has meant so much to our organization and contributed to our championship success, is never easy,” Pistons president Joe Dumars related in a press release. “We want to thank Tayshaun for his professionalism and contributions during the past 10 years. We also appreciate everything that Austin Daye has done for our team both off and on the court over the last 3-plus years.”
Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, confirmed a 5-year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with Memphis. The 6-foot-8 little forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next 2 years. That is a big number for new owner Robert Pera, who took over the franchise last November and has quickly started addressing the team’s salary situation.
Just more than one week back, the Grizzlies sent valuable reserve Marreese Speights and 2 other players to Cleveland in a move that cleared $6.4 million in income and avoided a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. Team officers said that move put the Grizzlies in position not to have to go and move this season.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins had been lobbying to keep his 5 starters together the remainder of this season, but he apparently lost that fight. It’s a significant move for a team that was 4th in the Western Conference and 3 games behind the 3rd-place Los Angeles Clippers.
Coach Dwane Casey will have to deal a bit of a log jam with Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields and Alan Anderson as wing players with similar ability sets.