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   RUDY GAY NOW RUDY GONE

 

By William Larsha, Jr., Columnist/Sports Reporter

The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

MEMPHIS, TN- On January 30, 2013, the Memphis Grizzlies traded star forward Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors and got in return veteran forward Tayshun Prince, Ed Davis, a 6'11 youngster as well as Austin Day. Davis was with Toronto this season while Prince and Day came from Detroit. Toronto guard Jose Calderon was sent to Detroit in order to make the three team deal work. The Grizzlies also traded reserve Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors. This deal comes just over a week after the Grizzlies traded Maurice Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby to the Cleveland Cavaliers in an effort to reduce salary so to avoid paying the NBA luxury tax. Teams with a payroll that exceeds a certain amount must pay tax to the league on the excess amount. The Grizzlies have always tried to stay under the threshold amount.

Gay was the team's leading scorer this season. He is also the leader in games played as a Grizzlie. He was acquired by trade in the 2006 draft from the Houston Rockets in exchange for popular Grizzlie Shane Battier. Gay was the eighth overall pick in that draft. Gay began to struggle of late this season shooting only about 40% from the field
and less than 30% from three point range. He had been the subject of several trade rumors over the past month.

The trade has gotten mixed reaction from both fans and the media. Many think the team got better reasoning that Prince is a better outside shooter and will therefore open the inside for Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. A lot of people feel this gives the team the best chance to win games as not many teams have the inside presence to stop both Gasol and Randolph. Additionally, they feel the team will also be better defensive with Prince who stands 6'8 and has very long arms.

However, there is a camp who thinks the trade was not so hot. They feel that it was just an extra move to dump more salary. They ask the question of how can the Grizzlies trade their top scorer at a time when they have the 4th beast record in the NBA's Western Conference.

 

Many thought that the team with Gay had a good shot at winning the west and that this trade indicates that they are giving up on that dream. They think the teams new owner, Robert Pera is more interested in saving money than winning now. We will see whose right in due time.

 

What we know now is Rudy's time in Memphis is done.

 

 

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