The Detroit Pistons are still rebuilding. They have a few pieces for the future, but they still have a bit of a way to go. Sure, upon amnestying Charlie Villanueva this offseason, they could have a fair amount of cap space, but could use more. Well, now they have more. The Memphis Grizzlies have been trying to trade Rudy Gay for quite some time, and thanks to the Pistons, they have managed to do so in a three team deal.
The Toronto Raptors will receive Rudy Gay. The Memphis Grizzlies will get Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis. The Pistons net Jose Calderon. The Grizzlies also are expected to get a second-round pick from Toronto, and the Raptors will get Memphis big man Hamed Haddadi, who they are expected to waive.
Obviously, the focus here is on the Pistons and their part of this deal, although I will mention that I am lukewarm, at best, on this for the Raptors but I quite like it for the Grizzlies. However, I like it for Detroit as well. Calderon is a good point guard. He’s a great shooter, one of the league’s best, a great passer, and he does not turn the ball over. In fact, he has the league’s best assist-to-turnover ratio. On the other hand, he plays defense at a Charlie V level.
Still, he gives Detroit a true point guard. I like Brandon Knight, but he’s a future shooting guard. The Pistons have somebody who can distribute the ball, and he’s fun to watch. There is a catch, of course, and that’s the fact that Calderon’s deal expires after this season. So, he’s likely only here this year. Adding Calderon and losing Prince and Daye is probably close to a wash, to be fair. Detroit has the chance to stay on the fringe of the playoff race, especially with the injury to Rajon Rondo and Toronto’s part of this trade, but nothing more.
However, once the offseason rolls around, this trade helps the Pistons. Calderon’s deal is over, but Prince’s will not be. He’s got two more years and $15 million on his deal, and he’s 32 now. For a team that’s a contender like Memphis, he can help, bu the didn’t make much sense for Detroit. Daye, on the other hand, has been more or less a bust, and his deal was over at the end of the season. Guys like Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko can get some more playing time at small forward with Prince gone, and then the Pistons will have a lot of money this offseason. Of course, they have to get people to take it. Last time they had cash, they overpaid for Ben Gordon and Villanueva. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.
The Pistons worked their way into a trade to help two other teams get a deal done they wanted. In doing so, they added a good player for the rest of this season and got themselves more cap space going forward. That’s a win-win for them.