TORONTO, Ont. – The Toronto Raptors have officially completed a trade to acquire swingman Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies.
The trade will see point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis moved to the Grizzlies for Gay and little-used centre Hamed Haddadi.
Also heading to the Grizzlies will be a second-round pick in 2013 and cash considerations.
Davis and Calderon did not dress for Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, but Calderon spoke to reporters before leaving the arena and seemed emotional about the move.
“The fans they’ve been with me since day one, so that’s why it’s tough to leave,” Calderon said, fighting back tears.
Calderon also said Toronto had become home for him, which makes news of the trade that much more difficult to deal with.
“I think that’s why it’s a little bit-harder, it (Toronto) has been my home for eight years, it’s tough,” Calderon added.
The trade completely shakes up the roster for the Raptors, giving them the high quality swingman that the team has lacked since the days of Vince Carter. Gay also comes with a massive contract at almost $18-million a year.
Rumours have swirled for several weeks now that the Raps might be interested in Gay, who the Grizzlies were looking to move in order to shed some salary.
Gay is a 6’8″ small forward has been a borderline all-star for several years after being selected eighth overall in the 2006 NBA draft.
He will likely pair up on the wing with DeMar DeRozan, giving the Raptors a potent combination of wing players.
Calderon, long a fan favourite in Toronto, will be going back to the Grizzlies meaning the Raptors will be handing over the keys to point-guard Kyle Lowry, who was acquired in the offseason.
Reports indicate the Grizzlies will then flip Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince.
Power-forward Ed Davis, who has been having a breakout season since the injury to Andrea Bargnani, was likely a major reason why the Grizzlies were willing to move Gay to the Raptors.
Also coming to the Raptors will be Haddadi, a journeyman centre who has never established himself as a major player in the league.
The trading trend may not be over as Andrea Bargnani could be next out the door. Raptors’ general manager Bryan Collangelo says Bargnani is a great talent but sometimes a change of address isn’t a bad thing.