The NBA trade deadline is over a month away, but apparently that hasn’t delayed the latest Rudy Gay trade rumor from dropping on the web. RealGM.com (via ESPN.com’s Grantland) reports that Memphis has engaged in preliminary trade discussions with teams about its starting small forward. Rudy Gay was also the subject of trade rumors in June. Gay’s $84 million contract, and his $16.4 million salary this season have both been cited as reasons why Memphis is seeking to move him.
The Grizzlies are currently 20-9, but long-term they are stuck in the NBA’s “No Man’s Land” of being good but not elite. It’s tough to get out of that spot without trading a core player for more assets. They may not admit it publicly, but I think the Grizzlies desire to move Gay is partly based their realization of this fact of life in the NBA.
If Memphis is going to shake things up, Gay is the player from Memphis’s core four of Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr., and Zack Randolph who it makes sense to move. Gasol and Conley are both upper-echelon players at franchise positions, and Zack Randolph is on the other side of 30.
Given Gay’s youth (26) and versatility, Memphis should get good value if they decide to move him to create cap flexibility and improve their depth.