The final hurdle for the salary dump of Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors hinges on finding a third team to absorb the expiring contract of Raptors guard Jose Calderon, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Grizzlies have inquired with multiple teams over the past several days, searching for a willing partner to facilitate a three-team deal, sources said. Despite organizational proclamations to the contrary, new Memphis ownership and management is determined to unload Gay and the $37 million owed him as soon as possible, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Calderon has a $10.5 million expiring contract.
“With so many quality point guards, they’re struggling to find a spot for Calderon,” one league general manager told Yahoo! Sports. Preferably, the Grizzlies want a less expensive small forward to plug into the lineup for Gay, sources said. Memphis has been relentless in shopping Gay over the past several weeks. In a proposed deal, Memphis would likely receive another young Raptors player and a future draft pick, sources said. The Grizzlies have unsuccessfully tried to pry Raptors rookie Terrence Ross as part of the deal, sources said. Toronto has deemed Ross untouchable in these talks.
Recently, the Grizzlies’ front office dumped three contracts and a first-round pick – including Mareese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Shelby – onto the Cleveland Cavaliers to get under the luxury-tax threshold.
At 29-15, the Grizzlies are currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Beyond Gay, the Grizzlies have nearly $65 million in contracts locked into forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol through the 2014-15 season. They are determined to lessen luxury-tax implications of holding onto three significant contracts.