Rudy Gay is reportedly being heavily shopped around by the Memphis Grizzlies, and Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday morning that the forward has drawn heavy interest from the Phoenix Suns.
Wojnarowski was told by sources that the Grizzlies would want Jared Dudley and future first-round picks, and it’s a wonder how willing Phoenix would be to give up any lottery picks considering the need to inject youth into the team that’s still a rebuilding project.
The Suns are lacking a marquee name, of course, and finding a player of Gay’s level would certainly appear as a big move to fix that problem.
Financially, how big would initially appear to be the issue holding back any trade between Memphis and Phoenix.
After all, Gay admitted to Memphisport.com that he knew his contract was the reason trade rumors once again surround him.
How the Suns would be willing to absorb Gay’s massive contract that is worth $17.8 million and $19.3 million over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, respectively, is another question. Gay’s five-year, $82 million contract signed in the summer of 2010 is the one that Memphis has been looking to get off the books to ease their own salary cap situation, and Suns owner Robert Sarver’s opinion of Gay’s worth might be key in any deal.
It all hinges on how Sarver and the Suns front office views Gay’s star potential. He’s never been able to pull himself onto the elite pedestal with averages of 17.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in his six-plus year career. His averages this year are about the same, but he’s shooting a career-worst 40.8 percent.
He’s also 26 years old.
The Suns themselves have seen Gay’s upsides and downsides. Last year, Gay went for 32 points against Phoenix. He hit a huge game-tying shot earlier this season against the Suns, but the Grizzlies lost on Goran Dragic’s buzzer beater that came after Gay missed a go-ahead jumper (granted, a well-defended one).
And then, everything goes back to what the Suns give up and if they even have enough to land Gay. Memphis-based ESPN radio’s Chris Vernon tweeted Memphis front office sources said that a Suns-Grizzlies deal is unlikely because of how little Phoenix has to offer.
On their side are the Grizzlies, who appear to be very intent on trading away their leading scorer if, as Vernon tweeted, they improve as a team. Arguably, Dudley fits Memphis’ roster quite well, but how much addition by subtraction there is in a move involving Gay and Dudley is hard to say.
Grizz brass has told me a Rudy trade would be an attempt to shed some salary but IMPROVE.Idea they don’t view team as contender is false
— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) January 8, 2013