The Pistons have been active in the trade discussions despite their dalliance into free agency, making a bid for Raptors forward Rudy Gay. A team official acknowledged there had been discussions, but they didn’t go anywhere, as the proposed deal was first reported by ESPN. The Pistons offered Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva for Gay, a high-scoring forward who makes $17.8 million next season, and the Raptors turned it down. They’ll also make a play for Boston’s Rajon Rondo if the Celtics make him available. The Pistons have a long-held affection for Gay (18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds last season), who was traded from Memphis to Toronto in the deal that saw Tayshaun Prince leave Detroit for Memphis in January. The Raptors have a new general manager, Masai Ujiri, who didn’t acquire the talented small forward but inherited him. The Raptors just traded former overall No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks and could be tearing down the foundation to build themselves back up down the line. Stuckey and Villanueva are in the last year of their contracts, which could give the Raptors relief, as their payroll was among the highest in the NBA last year, hovering near the luxury tax threshold, but they didn’t qualify for the playoffs. The deal, in its current form, doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction, but if the Pistons can find a third team to facilitate it, perhaps it can be revisited. It appears the Raptors don’t want to just part with a talent of Gay’s caliber by doing what amounts to a salary dump. With various teams being around or over the luxury tax threshold, bringing in a third team isn’t impossible — but the Pistons would really have to want Gay. Stuckey and Villanueva, if they are dealt, could lessen the Pistons’ dependency on overpaying in the free agent class. They will both earn $8.5 million each this year, and it’s clear the Pistons are leveraging both in the attempt to acquire better players, offering future cap relief. Counting the rookie-scale deals with Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond and the contracts of Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler, the Pistons have $17.2 million in salary committed for 2014-15, with a $58.5 million salary cap, when Monroe will be up for restricted free agency.
Pistons' bid to land Raptors' Rudy Gay fizzles
Detroit News | Jul 4