5 Players the Memphis Grizzlies Should Get Back in a Rudy Gay Trade
Rudy Gay is a hot name on the trade market. A number of teams have shown interest in him, but only so many can give the Memphis Grizzlies the right player to replace Gay. According to The Commercial Appeal, the Grizzlies assured his agent that he would only be sent off before the deadline if the deal were a “no-brainer.”
Thus, the Grizzlies aren’t going for a deal that would be a salary dump. They won’t trade him for a player that’s decent, but forestalls any possible reloading of the roster. Also, a deal won’t happen before the deadline if the only promising part of the deal is high future first-round pick.
They’d have to receive a guy who could help them as they grind forth toward the playoffs, working against tough odds to overcome the beasts of the West.
A few players would be able to answer that call. Read along to see who they are.
5. Bradley Beal
If the Washington Wizards are serious about acquiring Rudy Gay, they’d better be willing to surrender some serious talent. According to the Washington Post, the Wizards are making a “push” for the 26-year-old gunner.
With the amount of uncertainty that fans would hang on most of the young Wizards, the Grizz wouldn’t risk moving Gay if Washington simply hands over nice-looking ballers.
They’d want to know that the talent is there. According to The Commercial Appeal, the Grizz are determined to get Bradley Beal in a deal involving Gay.
Beal hasn’t been absolutely amazing in his rookie year, but he’s making quite the ruckus. He’s averaging 13 points per game, having scored in double figures in 23 of 33 games. Indeed, his shooting has been erratic. He’s hit 37 percent from the field, having connected 40 percent of the time in 17 of 33 games.
But he has handled the ball well, turning it over on just 10 percent of possessions. At that he’s doing it while taking command with the ball, holding a 22.6 percent usage rate.
The Grizz just might be able to ensure that they stay at the front of the pack after trading Gay if Beal were to arrive on Beale Street. The former Florida Gator has the aggression and true scoring potential to blossom into a star. His scoring performances indicate that he could even be helpful down the stretch coming up.
4. J.J. Reddick
That trading the leading scorer and minute contributor for a bench shooter would pan out may be hard to figure. But if the right guy is attained, the Grizzlies can’t feel bad.
J.J. Redick is that type of player. He shoots with dead aim from long range. He’s shooting 37.7 percent from three-point range this season and hits 39.6 percent from downtown on his career. Redick truly stretches defenses, taking more than half his shots from beyond the arc.
That’s a nice figure for the Grizzlies, who are next to last in the league in three-point attempts. Also, their middle-of-the-pack status in three-point field-goal percentage would call for Redick’s help, even more so than that which Jared Dudley would provide.
One wouldn’t expect him to average 14.7 points per game for Memphis like he is now. But he would still be a significant contributor on a team in need of a sharpshooter.
3. Monta Ellis
If the Grizzlies are interested in replacing the guy who was supposed to become a stud scorer with someone who actually is one, then their desired acquisition is sitting in Milwaukee.
Ellis isn’t quite in the groove he’s used to as he shares the ball with Brandon Jennings. After averaging more than 20 points per game in three-plus seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Ellis is scoring just 18.8 per game.
Granted, he could be at 20 per game if he were shooting better than 39.9 percent from the field.
At any rate, the backcourt combination doesn’t seem to work for Ellis. He could go somewhere like Memphis where he doesn’t have to compete with other backcourt scorers for opportunities. That would allow him to hit the bucket benchmark once again.
For the Grizzlies, it would mean having a truly driven offensive player who could help stabilize their scoring health.
2. Paul Millsap
The Grizzlies could stand to pick up a bigger guy in a trade involving Rudy Gay, especially if it’s a versatile big fellow like Paul Millsap.
Millsap is averaging 14.9 points per game, 1.7 less than last year. He shoots 48 percent from the field, but that’s no problem since most of his shots are jumpers. Also, he produces an impressive 114 points per 100 possessions.
Since he isn’t a post-strapped power forward, Millsap could be used as a stretch 3, slipping into Gay’s spot.
Millsap would be a wonderful addition to ensure scoring continuity, as well as added help on the boards.
1. Paul Pierce
In trading Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies are risking getting an unsatisfactory return. However, there is one player on the market who would make a more than fair trade for Memphis.
Paul Pierce would be a dream acquisition for Grizz fans. His scoring numbers have generally been just a bit higher than those posted by Gay. He remains a solid shooter and a terrific defender.
He puts up 19.6 points per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field. His 38.7 percent three-point clip is his best in three years.
Pierce is averaging 1.5 steals per game and allows 102 points per 100 possessions.
Also, “The Truth” has been true with his ball control. He’s turning it over 2.5 times per 36 minutes—down 0.5 from last season—and turns it over on 11.6 percent of possessions—the second-best mark of his career.
If Grizzlies fans are wondering how Pierce could come to Memphis, they should hold on. The Boston Celtics are said to be shopping him, per CBSSports.com, and they’re rumored to be interested in Gay. By the way, Pierce’s salary is almost identical to that of Gay.
The veteran small forward would be wonderful for the Grizzlies. He’s one of the very few players who could ensure the Grizzlies’ title chances if they were to deal their scoring fiend for the fellow.