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Report: Rudy Gay cleared to play for Toronto; new Memphis trio ready as well

Feb 1, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT

Gay Charity Game AP

Clearing physicals and lining all the ducks in a row can take some time, but newly acquired forward Rudy Gay has been cleared to play for the Raptors against the Clippers on Friday night. In addition, Memphis forwards Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis have all been cleared for the Grizzlies in their tilt against the Wizards tonight as well. Detroit Pistons point guard Jose Calderon, however, is not expected to play Friday night.

Gay playing tonight comes as a bit of a surprise, as the initial word indicated that he wouldn’t suit up for the Raptors until this Sunday. We knew Toronto was embracing more of a “win now” philosophy, but I guess that means right now. Toronto is 6 1/2 games back of the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference, and with Boston losing Jared Sullinger, they’re expected to make a push for it. That means every game from here on out counts, so having Gay available for a matchup against a tough team like the Clippers certainly helps.

It’s always interesting to see how high usage guys play in their first couple of games with a new team. Gay is obviously out on the court to score, but the only teammate he’s used to playing with is point guard Kyle Lowry. Gay and Lowry are said to be great friends, so the chemistry there may ease Gay’s transition a bit. Still, with Calderon gone, it will be interesting to see how the Raptors move the ball offensively and space the floor.

After an ugly loss to Oklahoma City last night, Memphis can use the fresh legs of Prince, Davis and Daye in the second game of a back-to-back. One thing to keep an eye on is how Memphis finds minutes for Ed Davis. A lot of people think that Davis might eventually end up being the best player in this deal, but head coach Lionel Hollins will have to do some minutes juggling to give him a decent amount of burn.

Friday was already a big night for the NBA with 24 teams in action, but a few faces in new places should make it even more entertaining.

  1. kingbeason52 - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Ive always liked Rudy, I wish Jordan would have made a run at him for the Charlotte Hornets comback next year..him and Kemba would have looked good in that blue..I am suprised he isnt one these guys trying to pair up with another star(not that the Bobcats have any)..He def has the talent and potential to be a great player..Hope he does well in Toronto..

    • money2long - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      jordan already has future potential with kidd-gilchrist.

      as for the raps, i can’t wait to see them play. i love the lowry, derozan, gay combination. all of them can create their own offense, yet they all seem to mesh. all three are athletic, all three can go off any given night. having a stretch four along with those guy in bargnani will also be fun to see. they may trade him however in a package with another player for a more defensively skilled 4. but with jonas valanciunas there at the 5, that team has some great pieces, and bryan colangelo has done it again.

  2. readysethike - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    i thought the memphis team had a tight knit and good chemistry with rudy…im curious to kno what his former teammates think of the trade

  3. nygdriveforfive - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Memphis fans will be pleasantly surprised with Eddie D. He will eventually replace Z bo. As a Raptors fan I live with the core of lowry/derozan/gay/barny/jonas/Ross and johnson. Jonas V looked great before he got hurt and Ross has shown a nice shot to go along with his crazy hops. The downside is Raptors bench is no longer there strength and once again Raps are going to get crushed on boards. It’s very difficult to attract superstars to the Raptors, and is a borderline superstar. Seems like he wants to be in Toronto (friends with Lowry as well) so there’s a good sign the Raptors can resign him. Disappointed to lose Eddie D but Raptors got the best player in the deal, even if the fit is questionable.

    • badintent - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      Wow ! Hope you saw the Raps game tonight ! Gay and the team went off on the Cippers, smackdown of the month ! Great home coming for Rudy. Hope they get the 8th seed.

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