The Memphis Grizzlies are still looking to trade former All-Star forward Rudy Gay, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
The Toronto Raptors are most interested in acquiring Gay according to reports and are looking to send Memphis a package highlighted by Jose Calderon and Ed Davis to get him.
The Grizzlies – who have the fourth best record in the Western Conference – already made a trade this season to free up cap room in the future. Had they not made any moves, they would have been hit with some heavy luxury tax penalties down the road.
Gay is making $16.5 million this season and set to make $17.9 million next season and $19.3 million in 2014-15.
If the Grizzlies do trade Gay to the Raptors, it would affect the Oklahoma City Thunder in a few ways.
Memphis is currently one of only a handful of teams that can give the Thunder a real run for their money. They have great size in the frontcourt with Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and it’s hard for the Thunder to match up with. OKC isn’t able to play as many small lineups with Kevin Durant at the four basically.
Trading away Gay would obviously hurt the Grizzlies somewhat this season. While he hasn’t had his best season this year, he is still the team’s leading scorer at 17.2 points per game.
The Grizzlies did take the Thunder to seven games two years ago in the playoffs without Gay. But remember how great Randolph was playing that year and how much deeper Memphis was that season.
There is a good chance this season that the Thunder and Grizzlies could meet again in the playoffs in the second round. Without Gay, Memphis would definitely be an easier out for OKC.
The other thing that could happen because of this trade is Toronto could make the playoffs. The Raptors are currently five and a half games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and adding Gay could boost them up into contention for the postseason.
This affects the Thunder because OKC owns Toronto’s upcoming 2013 first round pick in the NBA Draft, but only if that pick falls between four and 14.
The 2013 NBA Draft class is being called one of the weakest in years so postponing receiving that pick from Toronto could be a good thing for the Thunder in the long run.
This potential trade is just a rumor at this point. If it goes down, it would definitely shake up the landscape of the league pretty good.