The rumor mill started up this afternoon when Mark Stein of ESPN.com tweeted out the latest on the Rudy Gay to Toronto trade news:
"@ESPNSteinLine: Sources say deal will morph to include third team to take Calderon, w/Detroit at front of line to land Spaniard after chasing him all season."
Excitement was all over the '#Pistons' twitter-sphere, but who was going to be leaving the red, white and blue for Memphis? Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports chirped out a tweet that gave a huge hint:
There was then a scare as sources from various sports media outlets reported that the Toronto-Memphis portion of the trade was finalized, but the Detroit-Memphis end of the three team deal was not yet set. There were worries that the Dallas Mavericks, another team that Memphis had been talking to, were going to offer up Vince Carter to fill the small forward void left by Rudy Gay in the Memphis lineup. Therefore taking the Pistons place in the three-team deal. Then Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit Free Press calmed the storm with a Joe Dumars statement:
"@vgoodwill: Dumars: 'We are pleased to welcome Jose Calderon, knowing that he fits our mold as a high character individual who is a great competitor.'"
Here's how the three-team trade shakes out:
Rudy Gay (MEM) and Hamed Haddadi (MEM) to Toronto Raptors.
2nd Round Draft Selection (TOR), Ed Davis (TOR), Tayshaun Prince (DET) and Austin Daye (DET) to Memphis Grizzlies
Jose Calderon (TOR) to Detroit Pistons
The first question many may be wondering is why the Memphis Grizzlies would trade away Rudy Gay while the team is still more than capable of contending for an NBA Title. By trading away Gay, the Grizzlies will be—able to concentrate on keeping Marc Gasol and All-Star forward Zach Randolph without taking a luxury tax penalty hit for going over the salary cap next season. Memphis feels that they can replace Gay's numbers in the aggregate with the acquired cast lead by Prince. (Money ball logic maybe?) The Grizzlies had their deepest playoff run in 2011 with Rudy Gay out with a shoulder injury. With that lingering in recent memory, Memphis was able to feel a whole lot calmer about sending the small forward and his 2010, five-year, $82 million maximum player contract north of the border.
Some think Memphis got better with trade, some think they've thrown away their shot at a title. Either way let's start talking about the Pistons.
This move is great for the Pistons. By sending Tayshaun Prince to Memphis, the Pistons are no longer responsible for paying Prince $15 million over the next two seasons. They also lose Daye who, let's face it, wasn't going to be on this roster after the end of this season anyway. Austin Daye's contract is set to expire at the end of this season. Jose Calderon's $10.6 million contract expires after this season as well, which means at the end of this season the trade will clear around $30 million for free agent spending. Maggette at $10.8 million, Bynum at $3.2 million and Maxiell at $5 million all expire along with Calderon at the end of the season.
On the court, the trade is also a plus for the Pistons. As Brandon Knight has been struggling as a distributor in his second NBA season (averaging only 3.8 assists to 2.6 turnovers per game), he'll now have the opportunity to play alongside and learn from a point guard in Jose Calderon who truly enjoys setting up his teammates. On the season, Calderon is averaging 7.4 assists to only 1.7 turnovers per game while recording only two games this season where his turnovers have outnumbered his assists. Brandon Knight has 11 games this season where he's turned the ball over more times than he's dished it out. In notable head to head play, Calderon dished out 17 assists in Dec. 19 win over the Pistons while still with the Raptors.
Pistons 101 will have something on the lineup shift that is sure to happen with the loss of Prince and Daye shortly, but expect Calderon to join the starting backcourt and Kyle Singler to become the starting small forward.
Tags: Austin Daye, Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA, Tayshaun Prince
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