Rudy Gay trade: Jason Levien responds to criticism of move

Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Memphis Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien responded to criticism of the team's trade that sent leading-scorer Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors.

After the Memphis Grizzlies shipped off forward Rudy Gay in return for Detroit Pistons swingman Tayshaun Prince, among others, the team's CEO, Jason Levien, took some heat for what was criticized as a cost-cutting move. Levien went on the Chris Vernon Show to defend Memphis' decision to trade away their leading-scorer in the middle of the season.

From the podcast:

"We took on players that we thought could play in this deal," Levien said. "I don't see where that (criticism) comes from. If we were dumping salaries, why would we take on Tayshaun Prince for multiple years? It's a marathon not a sprint for us. We want to look at the next five-year window and be as competitive as we can be."

Levien maintained that the Grizzlies improved with the trade. They received a capable replacement in Prince, who has a wealth of playoff experience and has a skillset the CEO described as "multi-dimensional." The Grizzlies also received young forwards in Austin Daye and Ed Davis, plus trade exceptions and the lifted burden of Gay's contract.

One of the move's biggest critics, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, said that Memphis owner Robert Pera doesn't care about winning. Levien dismissed the criticism as Wojnarowski's distaste for ESPN -- former ESPN stats guru John Hollinger is now in the Grizzlies' front office.

And overall, Levien told Vernon that trading Gay midseason and before a playoff run was about trade value. Gay's contract includes a player option left on it after this season, and Levien said that teams would be more willing to take on his large contract with more time on it in the event that Gay bolts for another team.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.