Ownership didn't think their business model was sustainable with three $14m+ salaries, so they made a move now. They got a pretty decent return for a young scorer who isn't all that efficient but was being paid top of the league money. ATL practically gave Joe Johnson away this summer, and got praised for it.
At least Memphis got some usable pieces in the deal. Prince can defend Durant if they meet OKC in the playoffs, and is a steady vet who can hit the threeball. Daye may or may not amount to much, but he can really stroke the three, something this roster really needs. And Davis is a promising young big who is at least a valuable trade chip and may flourish as Z-Bo's understudy.
Speights has talent but might be have the worst basketball instincts of anyone in the league. Ellington is a generic late first round pick that floats from team to team. In hindsight, he would have been useful with Gay gone, but he's easily replaceable. Selby is a second rounder who might never sniff an NBA rotation. They made that move to get under the cap if a Gay trade didn't materialize, and had to give up a future first to make it happen. That's NBA economics, and considering how much money that move was saving them, they can just buy a future first with the savings.
Wojo's column smacks of envy, calling Hollinger a statistician in a dismissive way. Hollinger was at the forefront of using advanced metrics in the NBA, albeit as a blogger/reporter, but certainly is qualified to be in an NBA front office for analytics. Time will tell if he can handle the actual scouting aspects of the job.
Spending $16-19 million a season on a guy who is giving you 17.2 points on 16.4 shots just isn't good business. Memphis wisely cut bait on Rudy Gay.
Memphis has $30m a year tied up in Gasol and Z-Bo, and that's money wisely spent. Conley is qhite competent and affordable at $7-9m the next four years. Prince is a bit overpaid int he $7m range for two more seasons, but will add even more defensive chops to this team. His 44/40/80% shooting will be welcome too.
To me, Hollinger and Pera set up their salary structure for further improvement while still fielding a good team. Time will tell on whether they will miss Gay, but they had never won a playoff series with him in the lineup.