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The Memphis Grizzlies are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 28-14 record. They've won four of their last five games and are recognized conference-wide as a team that no one wants to see in the playoffs. Yet for some odd reason, sources from all over are reporting that they're still fielding and entertaining deals for their starting forward, Rudy Gay.
Ken Berger of CBSSports wrote:
Sources say the Grizzlies continue to make and accept calls on Gay, though they're doing so from a position of strength because they no longer have to trade him before the Feb. 21 deadline. If they don't, they'll be open for business around draft time and in July.
Why on Earth would they want to break up a core of players that has worked so well over the past few seasons?
The initial thought is cap space.
According to HoopsHype.com, both Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph are set to earn $17.8 or more in the 2013-2014 season, but the trade that sent Marresse Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and (for some odd reason) a future protected first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers shed $6 million off of the Grizzlies payroll without doing much harm to the roster.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is an old adage that some of us live by. Memphis has already relieved itself of O.J. Mayo—who's having a career season for the losing Mavs. Why break up the team even more?
Gay isn't having the best season from a numbers standpoint. His stats have steadily declined since his breakout season of 2007-2008 (20.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG). This season he's putting up the rather pedestrian numbers of 17.2 points on 41 percent shooting from the field and 31 percent from downtown.
But the team has chemistry, which is something that supersedes individual stats. Besides, what player is going to give their all knowing that they could be dealt somewhere else at any moment?