When the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons completed a three-team, six-player trade last Wednesday, more than a few heads turned. Every fan was well aware of the Grizzlies’ desire to shed salary and get under the luxury tax threshold, but after dealing Mareese Speights, a first-round pick, and two other players to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jon Leuer and a trade exception a week earlier, they were already under that mark. That means that when they traded away their leading scorer Rudy Gay in a deal that landed them Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, and Austin Daye they felt that the players they were getting in return marked an improvement for a roster Memphis owner Robert Pera said after the deal was built to do some “serious damage” in the playoffs following their deals. So are the Grizzlies the team that emerged with the best outlook because of their deal? It certainly doesn’t look that way right now.
The Grizzlies were blown away by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, losing 106-89 to a team they very well could play should they make it to the second round of the playoffs. While it’s still relatively early, the problem is that Memphis beat Oklahoma City the first time around when these teams met in mid-November, with Gay scoring a team-high 28 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. The Grizzlies’ offense has ranked among the worst in the NBA all season, but surely trading away their leading scorer won’t help. Memphis received a solid piece in the form of a young Ed Davis that truly emerged as a blossoming star this online sportsbook season, but Prince and Daye don’t compensate for the loss of Gay so it’s hard to understand how this trade will help the team’s outlook for this year.
The Raptors certainly appreciate having a legitimate No. 1 scorer to give the ball to with the game on the line, and they responded with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers Friday before nearly taking out the Miami Heat on Sunday. Gay scored a team-high 29 points in his starting debut after providing 20 points in the win over the Clippers on Friday, and it’s important to remember this online betting team is still playing without one of its best assets in Andrea Bargnani. As for the Pistons, the biggest win might have been shedding the awful contract of Prince, while the addition of Jose Calderon will help the rest of the year without the worry of having it on the books next season. Detroit is technically still alive in this year’s playoff race and has some talented young centers in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, who Calderon should work well with for the remainder of the season.
With Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley the Grizzlies still have a pretty solid nucleus to build around and are still the best online sports betting team that was involved in the trade. However, trading away the team’s leading scorer in exchange for no immediate upgrades isn’t a move that fans in Memphis will want to see with this team shaping up as a legitimate contender in the Western Conference this season, and time will tell how they react after seeming to come out at the bottom of another deal. For all of the latest NBA news and odds, be sure to check out the best online betting sites.