Rudy Gay heads to Toronto in Grizzlies' makeover

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm •  Published: January 30, 2013
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"Wow that was 1 crazy trade today," Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins tweeted. "Are you serious Rudy Gay is right there under KD, Lebron, Kobe, and Melo. (hashtag)badtrade."

They do run the risk of upsetting the chemistry on a tight-knit group, even if there were some questions of how Gay's scoring fit in with the ball-dominant frontcourt of Gasol and Randolph.

But there may be more deals like this one coming in the new NBA economy.

The collective bargaining agreement negotiated after last year's lockout makes the penalties for exceeding the salary cap far more punitive, and the system begins in earnest next season. Playing in a smaller market, the Grizzlies don't have the extra revenue from lavish television contracts like teams in Los Angeles or New York, which makes it that much more difficult to go over the cap. But even teams such as the Lakers and Bulls will likely have to be more responsible with their spending under the new deal, where repeat offenders are taxed at rates that multiply with each consecutive year they go over the cap.

The first domino fell before the season, when Oklahoma City sent James Harden to Houston instead of signing him to a big-money extension, and more are sure to follow.

All told, the Grizzlies shaved nearly $40 million over the next three years after the two trades.

They'll get a hard-nosed defender in return in Prince, the 32-year-old forward who was drafted by the Pistons in the first round in 2002. He is averaging 11.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season.

"Shocked obviously," Prince said after the Pistons played the Pacers. "I didn't find out, obviously, until I got here. I'm shocked, but it's a business and you never know what's going to happen."

Calderon joined the Raptors from Spain in 2005 and has been a fan favorite and trusted veteran on the team. He is averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 assists this season for the Raptors (16-29), who are desperately trying to scratch their way into the playoff picture. Toronto was in 11th place before the games were played Wednesday, 5½ games behind Boston for the eight seed.

Calderon and Davis had both been starting for the Raptors, but they do have Kyle Lowry waiting in the wings at point guard and likely see Gay's scoring punch as the key to vaulting back into the discussion in a mediocre conference.

Coach Dwane Casey will have to deal with a bit of a log jam with Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields and Alan Anderson as wing players with similar skill sets. But getting a player with Gay's natural scoring talent, even at the expense of parting with a valued player like Calderon, proved too enticing to pass up.

"Hopefully this team is back to the playoffs as soon as possible," Calderon said.

___

AP Sports Writers Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tenn., Larry Lage in Detroit and freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd in Atlanta contributed to this report.



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