SH Blog: Rudy Gay trade rumors, and is this the best team Melo’s played on?

When I first heard the Grizzlies were looking to move Rudy Gay, I was surprised.

This is the best year the Grizzlies have had in recent memory, right? For a while they were sitting atop the vicious Western Conference, right? And even having cooled off a bit after their blistering 14-3 start, they’re still sitting in fourth in that vicious Western Conference, right?

So why would they want to deal one of their best players? Of course, I thought the same sort of thing a few months ago when the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets. So I guess I’ll wait and see (a) what the Grizzlies actually do and (b) how it works out for them before I rush to judgment.

There’s a good bit of Gay trade rumors in today’s blog. But first, it’s never too early to think about the NBA draft, and to help you out with that, Joe Kotoch has a piece up looking at the top point guards in the college ranks. Also, we’ve got new Sixth Man rankings up, so check those out as well.

Now it’s time for all the latest NBA news:

  • Marc Stein’s Weekend Dime for ESPN.com tackles the Rudy Gay rumors (as well as tons more so as always, this is a necessary clickthrough): “Something tells me Heisley ultimately would have realized it, too. He’d have eventually deduced, just like Oklahoma City did in October when the Thunder traded away James Harden against their will, that a team in a market as small as Memphis can’t afford the luxury-tax bills and corresponding restrictions that come with three max contracts: Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Not if said team wants to have the flexibility to make changes/upgrades when required. The Grizz might not move Gay before the Feb. 21 trade deadline, but rest assured he’ll be dealt before next season. (Or maybe it’ll ultimately have to be Randolph if it’s not Gay). If new management opts to give this core one last shot at a long playoff run, it’ll be because it couldn’t swing a palatable deal before the deadline, not nostalgia. The bottom line is that the Grizz, like OKC before them, know they have to make the necessary payroll adjustments before the new labor agreement’s more stringent tax penalties are implemented after Year 3 of the deal introduced last December. Which approach would you take? All in for this season … or Thunder-style planning for the long term?”
  • Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area also takes a look at the Gay situation: “Source with a team interested in Rudy Gay: the Gay-for-Jared Dudley/Michael Beasley deal was leaked in order to generate more offers from around the league. The response when other GMs heard about the offer was, “Hey, we can do better than that.” The Grizzlies, if they are going to move Gay, want a young SF on a smaller contract and a draft pick.”
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