The new Memphis Grizzlies ownership has pressing payroll decisions on the horizon. The core of Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley is due a combined $53 million this season and $58.7 million next season. Whether to maintain the core or deal Gay is an interesting question that could come up.
Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley batted down trade rumors surrounding Rudy Gay the last two offseasons. This summer, he silenced the rumors with a relatively soft pronouncement to The Commercial Appeal.
Robert Pera has time to watch Gay and decide whether his salary is worth keeping. If the seven-year pro fails to please down the stretch, Pera could persuade Chris Wallace to trade him.
Indeed, Pera wouldn't send the Connecticut product just for the sake of it. Like Heisley, Pera would surely like to receive substantive value in return for this pure scorer. A solid player who could replace Gay's scoring would have to arrive in Memphis for the Grizz not to fall off the map.
Following are some trade offers that Pera would allow Wallace to entertain involving Gay.
Disclaimer: Statistics presented are current through November 18. Also, trades in which Memphis sends a first-round draft pick to another team assume that the Minnesota Timberwolves miss the playoffs before the draft in which that pick is to be used.
The T'Wolves receive a lottery-protected first-rounder from the Grizzlies, which is usable until 2016 in the case that Minnesota becomes a playoff team.