Rudy Gay Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Grizzlies Star

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 7, 2013

The Memphis Grizzlies have firmly established themselves as NBA title contenders, but that hasn't made Rudy Gay's spot on the team any safer. 

According to Grantland's Zach Lowe, the Grizz are making it very clear to other teams around the league that their best pure scorer is on the trade block:

All of this explains why Memphis, over the last few weeks, has made it known in preliminary talks with other teams that Rudy Gay could be available via trade, according to sources around the league. Memphis also has a brand-new ownership and a revamped front office; John Hollinger and Jason Levien are in, longtime personnel gurus the Barones are out, and Chris Wallace’s current level of power as holdover GM is unclear. They can also cite their exciting 2011 playoff run without Gay, though that run involved a superhuman performance from Zach Randolph, a very good matchup in San Antonio, and a much deeper wing core with actual shooters.


UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a few Rudy Gay bombs on his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, and it appears the Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors are inching closer to a deal that would sent the Memphis swingman to Toronto.

ESPN's Marc Stein also joined the party, helping give weight to Wojnarowski's claims and providing the framework for what a deal involving Gay would look like.

Here's Wojnarowski's original tweet from Wednesday afternoon, followed by his subsequent reports on the timeline and players involved:

Stein added this tweet with the other two players involved:

The deal is not quite done, and both reporters are maintaining that a third team being involved in any deal is the likely scenario. Here's what Stein had to say about the recruitment of that third team:

Here's Wojnarowski weighing in on the different ways this deal could get done:

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts, but the Grizzlies appear close to sending Gay to the Raptors and getting back several resources they can use both this season and in the future. Stay tuned as the latest news breaks on the NBA trade front.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7:17 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

The Star's Doug Smith has the latest on the Raptors' potential pursuit and interest of Rudy Gay:

Not game specific, that’s for sure, but according to a highly-placed source, any chance of the Raptors picking up Rudy Gay in a trade are diminishing rapidly and it’s less and less likely something will happen.

The reason?

The asking price is far too high.

As I mentioned last week, the players most coveted include the likes of Jose Calderon, Terrence Ross and one of the young bigs – and I know Valanciunas’s name has come up in conversation – and I would suggest Bryan should have no interest in that kind of chatter.

Gay’s a good player – he’s a definite upgrade on what they have now – but if it’s such a steep price that it robs you of your assets, it’s not worth it.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 14, at 11:25 a.m. ET by Alex Kay

There’s been a flurry of news on the Gay front over the past week, headlined by the Washington Wizards’ recent package involving this year's No. 3 overall pick, Bradley Beal, for the Memphis Grizzlies star.

According to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

The Griz have entertained the Washington Wizards' offer for Gay. The crux of that exchange would have the Griz receiving rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal in a larger package.

With the Wizards’ offer breaking, there also comes a report that the Toronto Raptors are withdrawing from the race to pry Gay away from Memphis.

As per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star,

According to a highly-placed source, any chance of the Raptors picking up Rudy Gay in a trade are diminishing rapidly and it’s less and less likely something will happen.

The reason?

The asking price is far too high.

It seems that the Griz ownership is desiring far too much for the talented swingman and it’s now unlikely that the Raptors will agree to any deal to acquire Gay by the February 21 trade deadline.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, January 9, 9:10 a.m. ET by Alex Kay

The Toronto Raptors have tossed their hat into the ring and are reportedly interested in Rudy Gay's services.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Canadian team is "seriously" intrigued by the young scorer and possesses a number of assets to offer the Memphis Grizzlies. 

Among the trade chips that the Raptors are believed to be dangling, in addition to draft considerations, are veteran point guard Jose Calderon (who has an expiring contract worth $10.6 million) and young big man Ed Davis. 

It seems that the Suns, Warriors and now Raptors are all in the running for Gay, and we expect a potential bidding war could be heating up with the Feb. 21 trade deadline looming. 


UPDATE: Tuesday, January 8 at 3:52 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

It looks like the Suns aren't the only team in the running for Gay. According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, Memphis has also tried piquing the interest of the Golden State Warriors:

However, Berger is also reporting that negotiations hit a snag once the Warriors insisted on the Grizzlies taking back Richard Jefferson:

On the surface, the Grizzlies' interest in partnering with the Warriors makes sense. Golden State has a bevy of young, talented players and is in the midst of a playoff run. But it just seems like Jefferson was a deal-breaker at the moment. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, January 8 at 12:03 p.m. ET

Interesting news courtesy of Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski as the Suns and Grizzlies are reportedly involved in trade talks centered on Rudy Gay.

The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are engaged in trade talks centered on forward Rudy Gay, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Grizzlies have been shopping Gay to multiple teams, and found an interested trade partner with the Suns, sources said.

There's no framework of a possible deal in place, but the Grizzlies have expressed a strong desire that any package involving Gay include Suns forward Jared Dudley and future first-round draft picks, sources said.


---End of Update---

There's no question that Gay is one of the better wing players in this league. He's an elite scorer when he gets it going (approximately 18 points per 36 minutes for his career, a number that has barely fluctuated over the last six years) and an underrated on-ball defender.

Moreover, he's still just 26 years old and has plenty of room to grow. 

But despite his positive attributes, it's obvious as to why Memphis would explore other options.

Not only is Gay shooting the ball worse than he ever has in his career (41.2 percent from the field, 48.7 true-shooting percentage, 44.3 effective field-goal percentage), but he's also taking up a significant portion of the team's salary.  

The dynamic small forward is making over $16 million this year and is set to rake in another $37 million over the next two seasons.

For a team that is $4 million over the luxury tax (according to Lowe) and already paying out large sums of money to Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and, to a lesser extent, Mike Conley, Gay is proving to be an expensive commodity. 

Still, it is difficult to imagine Memphis trading a star player like Gay. The hefty contract is obviously a major detractor for other ball clubs, and at 21-10, the Grizzlies' new management is not looking to dump salary without receiving some offensive firepower in return. 

Unless a dream deal arises (Lowe mentions the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics among the likely trade candidates), Memphis might be better suited making a run at the Larry O'Brien Trophy and then exploring its options in the offseason.

Whatever happens, we'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known.