Rudy Gay Not That Valuable to Memphis Grizzlies

David BarbourContributor IIIApril 14, 2011

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 08:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns  at US Airways Center on December 8, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Although Rudy Gay played the best basketball of his career this season in his 54 games before suffering a season-ending injury, the Memphis Grizzlies must have some doubt about awarding Gay with a maximum contract extension. The doubt surely stems from how little the team missed Gay during their last 28 contests.

In fact, the Grizzlies actually played better without him in the lineup.

Over the course of the 54 games in which Gay was in the lineup for the Grizzlies, Memphis outscored opponents by 2 points per 100 possessions. Yet, in the 28 games the Grizzlies played without Gay, they outscored opponents by 3.6 points per 100 possessions—even in the last two contests of the season when the Grizzlies were not even trying to win.

There was no single statistical category in which the Grizzlies became worse when they played without their second-highest-paid player.

Gay has been just the fourth MVP for the Grizzlies in terms of win shares per 48 minutes behind Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen.

Despite Gay playing better than ever before, he has been just another guy for the Grizzlies this season.

Maximum contract guys are supposed to be so much more than that.

Your Ad Here