For the second offseason in a row, Rudy Gay will likely
be the subject of trade rumors.
Last summer, Gay’s name repeatedly popped up in trade scenarios after the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to the Conference Semifinals while he was sidelined with a left shoulder injury. While the Grizzlies gauged interest in the small forward, they never seriously considered trading him. The organization wanted to see just how effective the team could be with Gay back in the lineup.
Now, after a disappointing first-round exit to the Los Angeles Clippers in this year’s postseason, the likelihood of a trade involving Gay is much higher. League sources expect Memphis to shop Gay, who is owed $53,666,790 over the next three years. Gay is no longer considered untouchable, and he could be on the move in the next few months if the right offer comes along.
Gay does become available this summer, there would be no shortage of teams interested in the 25-year-old. The Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic are among the teams who would attempt to trade for Gay, according to sources close to the situation.
Several executives believe that Memphis could to move Gay in a cost-cutting move since the team wants to re-sign restricted free agents O.J. Mayo, Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur after already giving long-term deals to Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley.
There are plenty of executives around the league who believe Gay is a very talented player with a high ceiling. He has only been in the league for six years and his game is still developing. While he is owed a lot of money over the next three seasons, that shouldn’t scare teams away since his best basketball is likely ahead of him.
During the 2011-12 regular season, Gay bounced back from shoulder surgery and averaged 19 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 65 games. In the postseason, Gay had similar numbers, averaging 19 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals.
This summer, Gay will attend Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas and then he’ll work out in Miami to expand his game. Next season, Gay is determined to have a breakout year and hopes to make the All-Star team for the first time. Whether that happens in Memphis or in another city remains to be seen.