Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rudy Gay Traded to the Raptors

We had heard rumors about Rudy for months, but after the Grizzlies shed some cap space by trading away forward Marreese Speights, guard Wayne Ellington and guard Josh Selby to the Cavs just a few weeks back, it looked like the they might keep their core four of Mike Conley,  Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol together for one last postseason run.

However, in the past few days talks had heated up again with the Raptors emerging as the most likely destination. The only obstacle was finding a landing spot for Jose Calderon since the Grizzlies had no need for another PG. Enter Detroit.

As reported by Marc Stein on twitter on Wednesday night:

Marc Stein 1
Marc Stein 2

This trade has major implications in the fantasy basketball world, lets look at the implications for all three teams involved.

Toronto Raptors

Rudy Gay moving to the Raptors is definitely of benefit to his fantasy owners. He should play more relaxed after struggling all season with trade rumors likely weighing heavily on him. As well, with the Raptors he will now have the chance to carry the offensive load and we could see his scoring rise to around 20-22 points per game. However, the clear big winner here is Kyle Lowry, who responded last night with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with 5 assists, a steal and 2 three pointers. We all remember what Lowry was able to accomplish as the bell-cow PG in Houston last season and with Calderon gone from Toronto, he has the upside to become that player again if he can only stay healthy. Finally, moving Ed Davis clears a logjam of big men for the Raptors. As a result, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas (when he returns) and Aaron Gray (as long as JV remains out) should have less obstacles to playing time and therefore should all see bumps in value.

Rudy Gay will be asked to shoulder to the offensive load in Toronto

DeMar DeRozan has been the Raptors leading scorer this season, but with Rudy Gay in town, he will see his offensive load decline. He will still be starting at the SG postion, but with Landry Fields, Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross all playing on the wing, DeRozan may see his playing time decline. Gay will get all the minutes he can handle so expect Anderson and Fields to see much less time on the court than their 27.6 and 26 minutes they've averaged over the past month. Terrence Ross needs minutes to continue his development and the Raptors front office will ensure he gets them.

Memphis Grizzlies

Without Rudy Gay (the Grizzlies leading scorer and only player than create shots for himself) the Grizzlies will have a tough task in overcoming the offensive loss. Tayshawn Prince will step in as the starting small forward, but he's nowhere near the player Rudy Gay is and at this stage in his career can't handle the minutes the Grizzlies have come to expect from Gay. Therefore, the big beneficiary is Tony Allen, who has been asked to be a defensive presence but should see his offensive role increase. He could also see some time at SF with Jerryd Bayless moving to the SG position.

Ed Davis owners were not happy to hear this news Wednesday night as he had been averaging almost 14 points and 8 rebounds as well as a block per game in 33 minutes. In Memphis, he will back up both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph along with Darrell Arthur, likely significantly hurting both players values. I don't think the Grizzlies traded for Davis just to sit him on the bench, so they may give their two star big men a few more minutes off to allow Davis to get a little more run. However, it's hard to see Davis getting more than 25 minutes per game going forward.

Detroit Pistons

Adding Jose Calderon, the true PG that the Pistons desperately needed, allows the Pistons to move Brandon Knight off the ball full-time at SG which better suits his skillset, while starting Kyle Singler at SF. Without Prince and Daye, Singler will have the opportunity to play a ton of minutes and his well rounded game makes him a guy to think about adding in standard leagues. While initial thoughts are that the trade hurts Jose Calderon, he was only playing 28 minutes a night in Toronto, and assuming Brandon Knight plays most of his minutes at SG, Calderon could actually see his minutes increase. He remains a must own player. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have never had the benefit of playing with a true PG and they should get better opportunities to score with Calderon getting them the ball.

Jose Calderon could actually see his minutes increase after moving to the Pistons

The arrival of a good distributor in Jose Calderon has major implications for the rest of the Pistons backcourt. I don't see Brandon Knight's value changing that much since the loss of assists will likely be offset by an increase in scoring. Rodney Stuckey, however, should have a hard time finding his way to the court. Stuckey has had issues with the coaching staff throughout the season and while he can backup both guard positions, he will compete with Will Bynum for backup minutes and will struggle to approach the 28 minutes per game he's averaging for the season.

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