Originally written on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 1/9/13
The news that Samardo Samuels had been waived by the Cavaliers this weekend was a major bummer. I enjoyed Samardo playing in Cleveland over the last few years and will miss having him around.  On the Stepien Rules Facebook page I went into more detail this morning. I only bring it up here, too, in order to enter these sentiments for the record. The Rudy Gay trade talk, conversely, has me brimming with unfounded hope this week. Unfounded in the sense that simply because Gay is being shopped, it appears, I'm therefore dreaming he ends up in a Cavs uniform. All over again. Ever since LeBron James left, I've always thought that Gay is the 'best available small forward' capable of filling that gaping wound left by James at the position.  At 26 years old, Rudy is in his seventh NBA season. He's averaged 17.9 points and 5.7 rebounds for his career, while never before playing next to a guard like Kyrie Irving. The problem, of course, is the six trillion dollars that Gay is being paid. Below are those contract details, specifically, with respect to the Grizzlies' current roster (via Hoopshype.com).     If you traded for Gay now, you'd assume the balance of his $16.4 million this season. You would also be obligated to pay his $17.8 and $19.3 million over the next two seasons. That's a massive number and I understand the reason for caution, even though it's primarily born out of the fear that Larry Hughes left us with as Cavs fans. Thing is, however, you can't simply assume that a 'better option' than Rudy Gay will emerge at small forward before Kyrie Irving's rookie contract expires. This year's draft, for example, isn't being projected as 'awesome.' So for the sake of conversation, in order to gain a better idea of how Gay could fit onto the Cavs' ledger, below is a rough estimate via Hoopshype.  Gay would not be worth $40 million dollars in terms of production over the next two seasons. But, I think, the Cavs could afford him if they wanted to take that risk. They might have to move a draft pick, along with possibly the expiring contracts of Luke Walton, Daniel Gibson and then something else but I think I'd trade for Rudy Gay if I could. All speculation here, of course, but worth exploring if you're Chris Grant. Something I'm sure he's doing right now as he seems to gravitate towards every major trade discussion in the NBA these days eventually. To be clear, though, I do not believe trading for Rudy Gay is likely. I also don't know if Memphis would do it for a deal centered on two expirings and a high draft pick. Nor am I sure exactly how to make the contracts work. That heavy lifting I'll leave for Grant. If you've been wondering why I posted that picture of Patrick Ewing, now is when I'll tell you. I really wish Anderson Varejao had been wearing those knee pads that Ewing made famous this year. Instead, he went without and suffered the worst bruise in the history of knees. As a result of bruised knees, Varejao has now missed approximately 987 games this season and fallen completely out of the All-Star race as a result. It's a shame, really. This also marks two season in a row where Varjeao's played like an All-Star before missing tons of time due to injury.  He's a tough dude though, and I'm sure he'll be back out there as soon as he possibly can. When he is, I just hope he plays with the proper protection.
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