Sam Amick of USA Today covers topics from around the league in his A-to-Z column, and with next week's trade deadline looming, it's no surprise the latest edition is full of intriguing tidbits. The Nets and Grizzlies figure prominently, as well as Josh Smith. We'll round it all up here:
Reaction has been pouring in since the Grizzlies, Raptors and Pistons struck a deal that's headlined by Rudy Gay going to Toronto. Couper Moorhead of Heat.com thinks the trade is a win for the Grizzlies, who pulled off the rare trifecta of shedding salary while improving short-term and long-term (Twitter link). Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sees it as a step back for Memphis, and another reminder of the harsh reality of the new CBA for small and mid-size markets. Here's more of what we're hearing:
8:23pm: The Raptors sent out a press release confirming the deal for all three teams. The second-rounder headed to the Grizzlies is Toronto's own 2013 pick, and Memphis is receiving cash from the Raptors as part of the deal, the statement notes.
8:20pm: Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets that Detroit's side of the deal is official, and that Calderon will join the team in time for Friday's game. Since it was the Pistons-Grizzlies part that seemed to have hit a snag earlier, rather than the Raptors-Grizzlies end of it, the swap appears to be squared away. Pistons GM Joe Dumars has released a statement, as Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News passes along (All Twitter links).
7:28pm: The trade call has ended, meaning the deal is now official, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
6:55pm: The trade call has been delayed slightly, but it's still going on, tweets Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, who adds that the deal is still going to happen.
6:18pm: Goodwill now hears from a source who says the trade will indeed go down (Twitter link).
6:06pm: A source tells Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News there's "one hangup" in the deal, though Goodwill doesn't specify what it could be (Twitter link).
5:56pm: The Pistons' side of the trade has not yet been finalized, Aldridge notes via Twitter, though with the trade call scheduled in a few minutes from now, it's likely we'll soon have official word. Both Prince and Daye are inactive for Detroit's game tonight.
5:33pm: The Raptors will likely waive and buy out the rest of Haddadi's two-year contract, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Haddadi is making $1.3MM this year and is due a partial guarantee of $200K on his fully $1.398MM salary next year. Under terms of the new CBA, the Grizzlies will not be allowed to sign Haddadi again for one year.
5:13pm: The Grizzlies, Raptors and Pistons have all reached agreement on a three-team trade. ESPN's Marc Stein reported the Grizzlies have acquired Jose Calderon and Ed Davis from the Raptors in exchange for Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi. TNT's David Aldridge reports the Pistons will receive Calderon from the Grizzlies in exchange for Tayshaun Prince (Twitter link). Stein added that Austin Daye is also headed to Memphis, and noted the Grizzlies will get a second-round pick from the Raptors as well.
The trade call will be placed to the league office at 7pm Eastern, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. When the trade becomes official, it will end several weeks of speculation about Gay's future in Memphis, as the Grizzlies look to avoid becoming a repeat taxpayer. It also ends months of chatter about Calderon in Toronto. The Pistons apparently beat out the Mavericks for the point guard, as Dallas refused to part with Vince Carter in any potential deal, Stein tweets.
The Grizzlies save significant money in the deal, as the combined salaries of Prince, Daye and Davis add up to $11.9MM, much less than the total of $17.8MM that Gay and Haddadi are getting. Daye can come off the books next season, as he's a restricted free agent this summer. Davis has one more season left on his rookie deal, at $3.15MM, and is set to hit restricted free agency in 2014 unless the Grizzlies extend his deal. Gay's contract runs through 2014/15, a player option season in which he's due to make $19.3MM. The Grizzlies are now $8MM under the luxury tax, which could give them more flexibility to make other moves this season, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com points out (Twitter link). The Grizzlies will pay out $37.2MM less as a result of the moves, Berger adds.
Technically, the deal is actually a pair of two-team trades, rather than one three-team trade, notes Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link). The Raptors, operating exclusively with the Grizzlies, wind up with Gay's sizable contract, adding roughly $5MM to their payroll, which was at about $61.2MM. They're still well below the $70.307MM tax line, and figure to remain that way even when DeMar DeRozan's four-year, $38MM extension kicks in next season.
The Pistons, meanwhile, part ways with the last remaining member of their 2004 championship team, bringing in a point guard to mentor second-year man Brandon Knight. It also clears cap room, since Calderon's expiring $10.56MM contract will come off the books this summer, while Prince is signed through 2015.
4:42pm: The Grizzlies spent the day calling around doing background work on Tayshaun Prince, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), so presumably Prince would be headed to Memphis if Calderon is sent to Detroit. Sam Amick of USA Today reports that the Celtics are another team in the mix to acquire Calderon.
4:35pm: If and when the deal is finalized, the Grizzlies are also expected to receive a second-round pick from the Raptors, according to Stein.
4:30pm: According to Stein (via Twitter), the Mavericks are another potential landing spot for Calderon, though Dallas is reluctant to part with Vince Carter, who the Grizzlies would want to replace Gay. Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com made the case this morning for why the Mavs make sense as the third team in a Raptors/Grizzlies deal.
4:23pm: The Grizzlies and Raptors have a deal in place that would send Gay and Hamed Haddadi to Toronto in exchange for Calderon and Davis, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). An agreement hasn't been finalized yet because it figures to eventually include a third team, possibly the Pistons, that would acquire Calderon, says Stein (via Twitter).
4:03pm: Several sources tell Wojnarowski that the Grizzlies have a plan to move Calderon to a third team in the discussed deal with the Raptors (Twitter link).
3:48pm: As Tillery suggested, the Grizzlies would prefer to send Calderon to a third team in the trade scenario they're discussing with the Raptors. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweets that there are "several potential suitors" making a push for the point guard.
3:34pm: The Grizzlies appear to be moving closer to a deal that would include Rudy Gay, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Tillery reports that Memphis is weighing whether or not to pull the trigger on one of three different scenarios, including one that would send Gay to the Raptors. The Grizzlies have two other potential deals on the table if they and the Raptors can't reach an agreement by this weekend.
Adrian Wojnarowski is also reporting that the Grizzlies and Raptors are making progress on a potential trade. According to Wojnarowski, the two sides have discussed scenarios involving a third team in addition to straight-up scenarios. The Raptors would likely part with Jose Calderon and Ed Davis in any deal (Twitter links).
According to Tillery, in their talks with the Raptors, the Grizzlies are seeking a small forward, a draft pick, and possibly Davis. A third team may have to be involved to acquire Calderon and provide the small forward the Grizzlies are hoping to land. Darrell Arthur would not be involved in that hypothetical trade, says Tillery.
Wojnarowski adds in another tweet that the Grizzlies and Raptors are discussing the potential deal with their respective ownership groups, and could reach an agreement as soon as tonight.
TUESDAY, 9:57pm: Wojnarowski reports that the final hurdle for a deal that would send Gay to Toronto hinges on finding a third team to take Calderon's contract. He adds that within the deal's current framework, the Grizzlies are likely to receive another young Raptors player along with a future draft pick. Terrence Ross is not one of the names being considered, as the Raptors have reportedly deemed the rookie untouchable.
8:11pm: Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun says that the Raptors have little interest in taking additional salary in the form of Darrell Arthur's contract, and thus a third team would be needed if he were included into discussions.
12:46pm: As they try to find a way to land Gay, the Raptors are engaging teams about a possible three-team deal, but are having trouble finding a taker for Calderon, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
MONDAY, 7:00pm: The Grizzlies are engaged in active trade discussions with the Raptors centering on Rudy Gay, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Stein says that while the Raptors are Gay's most active suitor, no initial framework for a deal has been agreed upon. Stein confirms that, due to last week's trade, the Grizzlies feel that they no longer must trade Gay and can instead wait and consider more fair value offers.
The Raptors have been determined in their pursuit of Gay and also are interested in Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur. Toronto is offering up Jose Calderon and third-year forward Ed Davis as two of the main pieces in a potential deal.
Stein says that the Celtics have also inquired on Gay's availability, but was told that they balked at the prospect at giving up Paul Pierce in the deal. In light of Rajon Rondo's injury, Stein was also told that Boston would be more likely to pursue Kyle Lowry and his cap friendly deal than Gay and his bulky contract. As talks heat up, Stein says, more teams could become involved in a potential deal.
Grizzlies' coach Lionel Hollins, as well as several of the team's players, have reportedly lobbied management for a chance to play the season out as currently constructed. But the Memphis front office is worried about its ability to improve the roster in future years, Stein says, and is subsequently seeking first round picks in any deal.
Led by Jrue Holiday, the 76ers remain three games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Significant help in the form of another all-star caliber player could be on the way within the next several weeks, as Andrew Bynum has continued to make progress toward his goal of possibly returning to practice next week, notes Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com. The 7'0 center has been plagued by bone bruises in both knees since the start of the season. With that aside, here are more news and notes from the Atlantic Division:
Marc Stein of ESPN.com attended the NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, Nevada this week, where many NBA GMs and executives were present. He posted a roundup of trade-related chatter he heard during the event:
A flurry of Rudy Gay rumors on Tuesday suggested that the Suns and Grizzlies were discussing a possible deal for Gay that could include Jared Dudley, and that the Warriors, Kings, and Celtics were among the other teams that had at least preliminary talks with Memphis. With six weeks still to go before this season's trade deadline, it's unlikely that the Grizzlies make a move this early, but the reports continue to pour in, so we'll round up today's Gay-related rumors right here, with the latest added to the top of the page throughout the day:
Marc Berman of the New York Post writes that Amare Stoudemire isn't quite ready to make his return for the Knicks just yet, citing that he is still "not 100 percent yet." Although he looked active during his scrimmage with the Erie Bayhawks today, Stoudemire feels that he still needs more practices and conditioning work before his return. You can find more of tonight's notable links from the Atlantic Division below:
The Raptors have completed just over a quarter of their season schedule, finding themselves tied with the Cavaliers for the second worst record in the Eastern Conference. Yesterday, we noted that GM Bryan Colangelo used the words "unacceptable" and "embarrassing" to describe his current thoughts on the team. During the first quarter of their game against the Clippers today, Colangelo followed up on those comments and touched upon other Raptors-related topics (Holly Mackenzie of Sportsnet.ca has the transcript). Here are some of the highlights:
On trade speculation:
"We were talking to a lot of teams, what we always do, and it's a means of pursing avenues to improve your basketball team so if a deal comes along that makes sense, that is right and fits within the plan of this building process that we've been going through, we'll certainly take a look at it. If it can accelerate that process and if it fits then we'll look to address something. But nothing specific about any player right now. There's been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumors. Again, we're continuing to look at opportunities."
On Andrea Bargnani's consistency issues:
"(Last year) it looked like he was putting up all-star numbers obviously for the first 15-18 games. He has not gotten back to that level. It looked that way early in preseason that he was coming back ready to become and perform at that level. But unfortunately we have not seen that consistency."
"(Ross is) a great talent and a number of the people I've talked to around the league think he's a great talent to have...he's been the recipient of some extra minutes because of some injuries. That's a good thing that will help us in the long run."
"(Valanciunas is) learning the nuances of what we're doing from a system standpoint, but also learning the game at the same time...Jonas is only 20 years old and really represents the future of this basketball team."
On second year big man Ed Davis:
"We talked a lot about him getting off to a slow start because he didn't have the kind of development early that he needed early due to an injury and then also due to the lockout, but he had a great summer...But it really with him comes down to a focus on his effort level night in and night out."
On the team's struggles:
" I do not believe that it's a talent issue right now; I do believe that it's about a team coming together. We're very young, we've had some injury issues, we've got the schedule, but we're not making excuses, we know there are some things that are broken and need to be fixed right now, but again, it's a lack of focus and a lack of attention to detail, I think more than anything right now."