NBA Trade Rumor: Raptors looking to add Rudy Gay - Could Celtics get involved?

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Note: The below trade rumor involving Rudy Gay to the Raptors is from ESPN. The idea getting the Celtics involved is my own speculation and proposal.

Reports surfaced last night that the Raptors are aggressively pursuing a trade for Rudy Gay.

Rudy Gay subject of active trade discussions between Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies -- sources - ESPN

The Memphis Grizzlies continue to field calls from teams interested in Rudy Gay and are engaged in active trade discussions with the Toronto Raptors, sources with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com. Although the framework of a workable trade has not yet been established, sources told ESPN.com that Toronto -- known to be perhaps Gay's most determined suitor -- has continued to make a hard push for the swingman.

The Grizzlies recently dumped some short term salary in a minor trade to keep them out of the luxury tax for this year and their owner has declared that they aren't shopping Rudy Gay. But he still accounts for a big cap hit in the future and the Griz might just decide that they'd be better off with less long term financial commitments. Also, every team has a price and it seems like the Raptors are willing to pay a good one for Gay.

But sources say that the Raptors, undaunted by that stance, continue to pursue Gay and also covet Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur. Toronto, sources said, has made veteran point guard Jose Calderon and blossoming young forward Ed Davis available as the two cornerstones of its offer.

Calderon is a $10M expiring contract and a guy that can still play solid point for the rest of the year. Ed Davis is a promising young big man (aka solid gold by trade standards).

In that same report, Stein reports that while the Celtics have kicked the tires on Rudy Gay, it doesn't seem like there's a match there. Despite rampant speculation that they'd be a good match for Paul Pierce, it sounds Memphis doesn't think The Truth would be all that happy playing there.

Here's the other thing. Multiple reports have indicated that the Celtics are interested in the Raptors other point guard Kyle Lowry (who also happens to have a cap friendly contract).

NBA front-office sources have maintained for weeks that Calderon (who has an expiring contract), fellow Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (only $1 million in guaranteed salary next season) and former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani all are available.

It wouldn't be a huge leap of the imagination to picture the Celtics shoehorning their way into this Gay-to-Memphis deal somehow.

Memphis will be losing an athletic small forward with no natural replacement on the roster. Perhaps they'd be interested in Jeff Green - who is still overpaid but half as expensive as Rudy. If they still want to compete this year, perhaps they'd consider the following deal.

  • Gay and Brandon Bass to Toronto.
  • Bargnani and Lowry to Boston.
  • Jeff Green and Ed Davis to Memphis.

The Celtics get a point guard and save long term money if they don't keep Lowry past this year. Even straight up I'd consider Bargnani a good return for Jeff Green. Both are overpaid and Andrea doesn't solve the Celtics rebounding or defense problems (despite his size and length). However, as Zach Lowe pointed out yesterday, he could create spacing and mismatch opportunities for the Celtics now and for years to come.

Memphis gets to shave future salary and adds Ed Davis while competing this year and Toronto gets Rudy Gay for the package of assets that they are offering. Bass is included for salary matching purposes but they might prefer Courtney Lee as well.

This is obviously a bit of a stretch, but I think it is an example of a way that Danny could get involved in a trade that doesn't send out Paul Pierce and manages to return assets that could help us in the near and long term.

Something to keep an eye on at least.

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