Even though the Memphis Grizzlies aren’t publicly admitting it right now, they’re going to try to make big changes this summer. After a very successful (but unexpected) run through the playoffs a year ago, the team floundered this season – ultimately losing in the first round to a Los Angeles Clippers team that wasn’t all that great itself.
It was an unfortunate, but in some ways fitting conclusion to a year that stalled from the jump.
As many figured would be the case, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph could never get on the same page this season. The Grizzlies looked fantastic a year earlier when Gay was out with an injury and Randolph was unquestionably the guy, but when the two had to coexist together – the pieces just didn’t fit. The fact that injuries plagued this squad from start to finish also hurt the natural development that teams experience when they play together for an extended period of time.
And so, given the mildly disappointing year that the Grizzlies had, most folks figure that the team will look to make a move. Gay, even though he’s arguably their best player, is overpaid and not productive enough to justify his hefty salary. That's why his is the name you’ll hear all this month in association with trade talks.
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Who would be interested in absorbing Gay’s ridiculous salary? Well, according to the San Francisco Chronicle – the Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors. Per Rusty Simmons’ report:
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal that Gay, who will make $16.4 million next season, is not being shopped. Still, the Warriors, Charlotte, Toronto and Brooklyn all contacted Memphis about Gay's availability, according to league sources.
Charlotte, obviously could offer up its No. 2 pick in a deal for Gay. The Raptors have made it no secret that they’re shopping their No. 8 pick to anyone who is willing to part ways with an athletic small forward. Brooklyn and Golden State also have some interesting pieces that Memphis might be interested in.
For now, Grizzlies management is sticking to the “We’re not looking to trade Rudy” line, but it would be completely and totally unsurprising to see him on a different roster before this month’s draft rolls around.