The Rudy Gay sweepstakes inches ever so closer to a definitive conclusion.
According to a report by Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Toronto Raptors are engaged in serious trade talks with the Memphis Grizzlies over possibly acquiring Gay.
Even though the logistics of a potential deal have not been fully worked out, Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors staff remain vigilant in their attempts to land this coveted wingman.
Stein also mentioned how a third team could possibly be brought in to make a deal work. Former #1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft Andrea Bargnani and backup point guard Kyle Lowry are also on the chopping block.
Toronto has expressed interest in Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur, as well.
Gay has two years left on his contract valued at over $35 million dollars.
Memphis recently dealt Marreese Speights, Josh Selby, Wayne Ellington and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jon Leuer in order to clear cap-space.
Does this potential trade make sense for both teams?
Not at all.
While Rudy Gay is a tremendous talent, the Raptors really have no major need for him. Sure, the roster is extremely lacking in players who can close out games and dominate the fourth quarter, but Toronto has enough wing players to last a lifetime with DeMar DeRozan, rookie Terrence Ross, free-agent signing Landry Fields and Alan Anderson coming off the bench.
Where would Gay fit in with all of that? Would more deals need to be made?
Besides, with the way Ed Davis has been coming on as of late (Between January 9-26, Davis is averaging a team-high 14.9 points and 8.2 rebounds), it’s not going to be that easy to just give up on him with the way he’s currently producing for the team.
Adding Rudy to the Raptors would, at best, make them a low-seeded playoff team. If getting smoked in four games by an elite Eastern Conference powerhouse in the first round of the postseason is something they strive to do, then so be it. That’s their ceiling if they make this deal.
Memphis would like nothing more than to keep Gay and continue to have him be an integral part of the Grizzlies strong early season run (29-15, fourth in Western Conference), but as always, the power of the mighty dollar waves its mighty hand. With Gay’s struggles, the teams lack of depth and that huge contract weighing them down (even with the team now under the luxury tax), perhaps new owner Robert Pera will have no other choice but to cut ties with their star and deal him before February 21st.
However, it’s more than likely that the core of Gay, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and newly annointed all-star Zach Randolph will stay together for the remainder of the season, make a strong playoff push, and then Memphis management will look at the possibility of trading Gay over the course of the summer instead.
Although, with Rudy’s name at the forefront of trade rumors for such a long time, how could they not deal him at this point?
With just 24 days left before the deadline, Rudy Gay trade talks will only continue to heat up.