The question is, when is he ever not on the trading block?
The high-flyer’s name seems to come up season after season for one reason or another, from failing to take over as the franchise player the team may have hoped he’d become, to possible chemistry issues with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol due to his sometimes-chucking tendencies.
This probably would not have been much of a discussion earlier in the season when the Grizzlies came out like the team to beat in the West, winning all but one game in the month of November. Since then, however, they have gone 8-8 and have literally played at the level of a .500 team.
Gay’s struggles could certainly be attributed to some of their problems, as he is shooting a career low 40.9 percent from the field. The idea of trading him is not the worst thing in the world: this team reached its highest plateau in the 2010-2011 season, when Gay missed all of the playoffs due to a serious shoulder injury.
If the team were to finally part ways with him after six plus seasons, it would be best to do so for a player that can provide better spacing for the two monsters they have on the block. So who would make the best trading partner in this scenario? Zach Lowe of Grantland gives us a plethora of ideas, and here is one trade possibility:
Minnesota has plenty of cushion between its current cap level and the luxury tax. They also have Andrei Kirilenko, a tweener forward on a semi-expiring $9.8 million deal, and a bunch of interesting pieces in the $4 million-$5 million range. It’s very easy to build a Minny-Memphis trade around Kirilenko/Gay that gets Memphis under the tax and provides either an intriguing high lottery pick (Derrick Williams) or a useful guard to round out the Grizz’s rotation (Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea). Memphis would have to send out a cheap piece, such as Tony Wroten, in some scenarios, and the Grizz could also ask Minnesota to return a Memphis 2013 first-rounder originally sent to Houston for Shane Battier.
Onto other news from around the Association: