You rarely see teams thinking about trading their top scorers, but the Memphis Grizzlies, feeling they’re a piece away from being a feared NBA title contender, have been considering for quite some on looking for a trade partner that will take Rudy Gay, for the right pieces of course.
And why are the Grizzlies wondering about the 26 year old small forward, who has been touted for years as the man who is going to lead this team into a very bright future? Unfulfilled potential While Gay has been a dangerous scorer, averaging at least 19 points per game over the last five seasons, it seems that instead of adding to his game and becoming one of the best small forwards in the game, he’s kinda stuck in the same place he was five years ago.
He’s averaging only 17.8 points per game this season while shooting a terrible 41.4% from the field. He hasn’t improved on his post game, he hasn’t changed the way he attacks the basket. While the Grizzlies turned into one of the best defensive units in the NBA, focusing more and more on scoring through the paint (Randolph and Gasol), Gay hasn’t been able to raise his game and become a consistent game changer.
While the Grizzlies are still undecided if they want to part ways with Gay, breaking up the Gasol-Randolph-Gay trio for improving their depth while giving Quincy Pondexter a broader role (23.1 minutes per game, 42.3% from beyond the arc, 6.7 points per game), some teams are letting it be known that they’re very interested in the former Connecticut Huskies star.
The Toronto Raptors for example, looking for any kind of deal that will begin a new rebuilding period for them, are hoping that sending Jose Calderon and Ed Davis, a developing big man, will be enough for the Grizzlies to give up on Gay. Remember, Gay has two more seasons on his contract beyond this one, worth $17.8 and $19.3 million. The recent run (14-3) for Memphis has brought them back to the position of waiting till the summer before they break up the package, at least until better deals are offered.
The Phoenix Suns are another team very interested in him willing to give up on Jared Dudley (12.1 points per game) and future first round picks, that will be worth something, at least this season, seeing how bad the Suns are doing so far. Word is that the Grizzlies’ new regime is adamant that it won’t merely try to dump salary by dealing Gay in-season if it severely weakens their team in the process.
So far, it doesn’t look like the Grizzlies might be getting anything that’s going to provide an upgrade to their team, and any kind of deal they’re being offered for Gay won’t be helping them jump up a step from playoff team to potential title contender.