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Amid Rudy Gay trade speculation, Lionel Hollins says he’d like to keep Grizzlies together

Jan 12, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Lionel Hollins, Jerryd Bayless, Mike Conley AP

The trade talk surrounding Rudy Gay has begun to heat up recently, and for a variety of reasons, it isn’t likely to stop until mid-February’s trade deadline has come and gone.

The Grizzlies struggled through a brief 2-4 stretch, but have recovered nicely to win four straight, including Friday night’s overtime home thriller against the San Antonio Spurs.

Gay is the team’s leading scorer, and with the way the Grizzlies have played for the bulk of the season, head coach Lionel Hollins is understandably not in favor of messing with the team’s chemistry while things are going so well.

Hollins told anyone who would listen on Friday that he’s not in favor of making any mid-season deals.

“I like our team,” Hollins said, while appearing on local radio in Memphis.  “I like the way we’ve grown the last few years, our maturity, and I would certainly as a coach like to keep our team together and see where we go this year. If management decides after the season is over that they want to move somebody for whatever reason, we’ll deal with that. But in the middle of a season, as successful as we are, it would be a big letdown.”

It’s unclear how much say Hollins has within the organization as far as personnel matters are concerned, and the finances surrounding Gay’s contract — one where’s he’s owed in the neighborhood of $37 million over the next two years — may ultimately have more to do with him being dealt than the win-loss record of the Grizzlies this season.

What is clear, though, is that the front line players in Memphis and defensive intensity with which the Grizzlies play will make them a tough matchup for any team in the postseason.

If the team decides to shake things up by moving a key offensive piece like Gay, Hollins knows that could change everything, at which point all bets on the Grizzlies’ postseason chances would immediately be off.

  1. abchome - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Hollinger’s most likely not thrilled with a max player of a mere 15.1 PER, a Hollinger proud invention. It certainly doesn’t help that the Grizz’s most successful playoff run actually came with Gay on the sideline.

  2. dalucks - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    I think I would trade someone other than my leading scorer if I wanted to get under the luxury tax.
    Fans are acceptable of a 2% increases in ticket and concession prices as long as they are supporting a top 5 NBA team or atleast a legitimate championship contender.
    Fans do not support any increases to tickets and concessions when they have to watch a lottery team every year.
    There should be a rule that if a NBA team is in the lottery for 3 years in a row then their ticket and concession prices should decreases 5% each year until they make the playoffs.
    When will the NBA give back to the fans?

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      That is an EXCELLENT idea!!

  3. mrwright313 - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Of course he would, they aren’t going to get better by trading him, which directly affects his bottom line.

  4. lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I’m surprised you never hear about Conley or Tony Allan coming up in trade talks. Is there a backcourt with less ability to space the court in the NBA?

    • mytthor - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Allen is a poor shooter, but he’s one of the top 3 perimeter defenders in the NBA. Conley’s having a great season, and he’s a career 38% three point shooter.

      • lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:52 AM

        I agree with you about Tony Allen being top 3 defensively and Conley has a very solid all-around game. He is however shooting 41% FG so far and having a mildly disappointing season not a great one.

      • mytthor - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        41% FG is no big deal for a guy whose primary job is to shoot 3’s (38%) and set up his teammates. He’s having a career high in PER, so I don’t know what criteria you’re using to say he’s been disappointing. Was he expected to improve more than he has this year? Can’t claim to watch a ton of Grizziles games but by the numbers he’s having a great year.

  5. weaselpuppy - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    which is why they need Stuckey and Prince….

    • mrwright313 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      At some point every night between Halloween and the end of April, I dream of a Tayshawn+Stucky and spare parts for Rudy Gay trade. (Obvious Piston fan)

  6. fm31970 - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    I always liked Hollins, and this article shows why– he speaks honestly, and what he says makes perfect sense.

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