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Memphis owner: We will sign Gay

Mar 17, 2010, 8:54 AM EDT

nba_gay.jpgIt’s been a fun game to play: Which team, once they fail to get LeBron/Wade/Bosh this summer, will overpay to get Rudy Gay?

How about Memphis?

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that in a meeting with season ticket holders before the game last night, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said he intends to match any offer Gay receives. Gay is a restricted free agent, meaning he can negotiate a deal with other teams but Memphis can match that offer.

This could be just a smart negotiating tactic — often restricted free agents find it hard to get a top offer if other teams think a players current team will just match. This statement could be a preemptive strike to scare off potential bidders. It could be a bluff.

Or, maybe more likely, Heisley is trying to keep a good young core of players in Memphis together. In a recent interview with the blog Three Shades of Blue, Heisley said that winning was the most important thing and the fact that the team has not drawn well at the gate — despite winning and being entertaining — would not impact offseason decisions.

At one point the summer of 2010 was viewed as the time a lot of big names would be on the move. Now, Gay may be just the latest in a long line not going anywhere.

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