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Report: Grizzlies testing waters for potential Rudy Gay trade

Jan 4, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Memphis is one of those “maybe if everything goes right” contenders. They are not as talented as Oklahoma City or the Los Angeles Clippers, but they have a dominating front line with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. In the last couple weeks their elite defense has taken a step back, their already unimpressive offense has done the same, and they haven’t looked like much of a threat. But you look at that front line as a playoff matchup and you always think they have a puncher’s chance.

That may not be enough for the Grizzlies new ownership, which still runs a small market team over the luxury tax line.

They are putting out feelers to see what a Rudy Gay trade could bring, reports Zach Lowe at Grantland.

All of this explains why Memphis, over the last few weeks, has made it known in preliminary talks with other teams that Rudy Gay could be available via trade, according to sources around the league. Memphis also has a brand-new ownership and a revamped front office; John Hollinger and Jason Levien are in, longtime personnel gurus the Barones are out, and Chris Wallace’s current level of power as holdover GM is unclear. They can also cite their exciting 2011 playoff run without Gay, though that run involved a superhuman performance from Zach Randolph, a very good matchup in San Antonio, and a much deeper wing core with actual shooters.

You should go read the entire article. Lowe goes on to look at what teams might be interested in Gay. Minnesota makes sense if Gay is willing to play more off the ball and get passes from Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. The Milwaukee Bucks are in the mix. Lowe lists the Boston Celtics, but good luck getting anyone to take on Jeff Green’s contract. The Rockets are open to just about anything. Toronto was interested in Gay in the past. There are options.

I don’t think it happens during the season for a couple reasons. First is the fact Gay is owed $37 million for the two seasons after this one. We have seen proven lately that no contract is unmovable (hello Gilbert Arenas and Joe Johnson) but that size deal makes it much harder, especially with teams afraid of the repeater tax and stiffer luxury tax penalties that kick in starting next summer. These larger, complex deals tend to be summer trades.

Second, if Memphis is serious about trying to make a playoff run they need him. When the Grizzlies roll out a lineup of Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Gay, Randolph and Gasol they are besting opponents by 12.8 points per 48 minutes. That is their bread and butter lineup, they have it on the floor three times more than any other single lineup. There have been some limited lineups that have had success (and they would be getting some talent back in any trade, someone like Andrei Kirilenko could step right into major minutes) but they are trading away a key piece if they want to take their shot at a ring, slim though it might be.

It’s something to watch, and how it plays out gives you a sense of how the new ownership and management view this roster and what they plan to do going forward.

  1. e39er - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    They be stupid to trade Gay

  2. buffalowned - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Trading him would be a big mistake

  3. flyrocket31 - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    ROCKETSSSSS! ship parsons, and/or marcus morris with one or two of the load of picks we got!

    • ayochaser - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      The grizzlies are trying to get over the hump not rebuild. Anyone not named James Harden on your current roster probably wouldn’t pique their interest for Gay.

  4. arejaye57 - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I’d like to see him play with Rubio and Love.

  5. albertmn - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    With all of their injuries, I don’t see what the Wolves could give back that would make a trade a net gain. AK47 has been invaluable this season, so losing him would hurt, especially with no other natural SF on the roster. Unless Memphis wants to take a chance on Derrick Williams.

  6. lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    As a supporter of the grizz and raptors I’d love to see a Rudy Gay for Calderon & Derozan trade. Grizz get the playmaker they desperately need and a scorer to off-set the loss of Rudy while the Raps get the SF they’ve been looking for. Calderon and Gasol are great together and a T-Ross & Rudy combo would be pretty spectacular in the years to come.

    • saint1997 - Jan 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      That would be cool! Actually that would be awesome, though maybe the Raps would have to chuck in somebody else (or a pick) to sweeten the deal. Plus can DeMar get traded after just inking a new deal?

      • lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:40 AM

        Alan Anderson would sweeten the deal just right.

      • saint1997 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        they’d be cautious to give him up though. i think straight up deng for gay would work

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        Chicago is not about to trade Deng for Gay. Paxson wouldn’t even do that while drunk.

      • saint1997 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        You’re saying Paxson wouldn’t work while he’s drunk? But I assume you work while you’re drunk judging on your spelling…(sorry that was low)

  7. itsthemelman82 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    There’s a contract that’s unmovable, Carlos Boozer’s! Wonder if Memphis would take him and that Charlotte 1st rounder for Gay? Probably not, I’m sure they could get more for Rudy.

    • idontevenwannaknow - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Hoping you’re not serious on that one, but unless they would be parting with Randolph or Gasol, why would they want to create a cap space hogging logjam with three large contracts, Randolph, Gasol, Boozer, for two positions, 4 and 5? One of those three would be a very pricey sixth man, well, unless the Grizz want to copy the Knicks/Amar’e formula.

      • saint1997 - Jan 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Amar’e is not a sixth man. He’s coming off the bench while he is acclimatising to the NBA speed again

  8. pl4tinum514 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I think the Cavs had interest in Gay at one point. T-Wolves only want him so they can (re-)unite the Gay-Love connection.

  9. ayochaser - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    They shouldn’t trade him unless they get a can’t miss deal, which I doubt will happen. I can’t see any of those teams putting together a good enough package in time for the post season. The grizzlies are trying to get over the hump not rebuild.

    • saint1997 - Jan 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      What about Gay for Deng?

  10. dl3mk3 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I also wouldnt underestimate the relationship AK has with Shved making it even harder to move AK.

  11. lunds007 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Let’s get serious here… we would have to ship a lot more than AK to get Gay. Shved would probably have to be in the deal too. Nobody is going to consider Derek Williams a crucial piece in any trade. He can’t even crack the lineup with the wolves decimated with injuries.

  12. greej1938l - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Hell go to milwaukee for Jennings and Henson. maybe few other players involved

    • siege102 - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Ersan, Dalembert, Lamb, and a pick for Gay

  13. jimmygrahamchrisivory - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Should’ve kept OJ

    • lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Should’ve kept greivis vasquez

  14. Gigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Gay is only the 3rd best player in his team and he gets paid the most. He’ll never be an All-Star unless he moves East (too much talent in the West). He’d probably be traded to the Pacers for Danny Granger. Warriors ahd an interest in him before but that has passed now that Ellis has already been traded for Bogut.

  15. watermelon1 - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM


  16. kindasporty - Jan 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and next year’s first round pick for Gay?

  17. manuelvargas1203 - Jan 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Deng , Rip for Gay

  18. weaselpuppy - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Prince Stuckey and Maggette balance the contracts

    • kindasporty - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Prince and Stuckey would balance the contracts. At least according to the ESPN Trade Machine.

  19. felisberto - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Rudy Gay for Gasol.

    • scalfor3 - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      for Pau Gasol? In your dreams lol the Grizz aren’t going to just throw Gay away.

  20. solomon151 - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Boozer, Dang, and Rip for Gay. I would take it. Lol

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