Gay has been the subject of as much trade speculation as any player in the NBA.
Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal mentioned the Washington Wizards as a potential trade partner. Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD tossed the Orlando Magic's name into the ring. The Toronto Star's Doug Smith reports the Toronto Raptors had been players for Gay until backing out over Memphis' asking price.
The Grizzlies have certainly been shopping Gay heavily, though according to Tillery, they won't part with their small forward unless it helps in the short- and long-term.
Hopefully Memphis does get the offer it's looking for; both the Grizzlies and Gay would be better served parting ways at this point in time.
Between the interior dominance of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and the under-appreciated two-way play of Mike Conley at point guard, this physical team has a solid core. All it needs is a floor-spacing primary scorer to open up the offense, adding some balance to a staunch defensive squad.
Rudy Gay can be a primary scorer for some NBA team; he just can't space the floor for the Grizzlies. Though Gay has the ability to create his own shot, he is not a significant threat away from the basket.
Per HoopData, Gay is converting 66 percent of his shots taken at the rim. Back him up to the three-to-nine-foot range, however, and that rate plummets to 33 percent. He's a 45-percent shooter from 10-to-15 feet, where he encounters less help defense, but he is just not effective enough of a jump-shooter to give Memphis what it needs.
At the same time, the Grizzlies' use of Randolph and Gasol inside is hamstringing Gay's offensive ability.
It's difficult for a slashing forward to get to his comfort zone with those two big bodies clogging the paint. Tack that on to Gay's mid-range struggles this season, and you can tell why he's averaging just 17.8 points per game on 41 percent shooting.
Memphis is not allowing Gay to do what he does best, and Gay cannot provide what Memphis wants from its go-to scorer. Gay has never been a worse fit in Memphis than he is this season; putting on a different uniform will help him find his groove again.
Stats accurate as of Jan. 15, 2013.
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