NBA Trade Talk: Trading Rudy Gay to the Warriors for Monta Ellis Would Be Wrong

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIIJune 21, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 30:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots over Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on March 30, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

I toil for 10 to 12 hours everyday doing landscape work in the hot Tennessee Sun. As much as I wish I could do it "for the love of the mulch", it's all about the money.

From beginning to end, I tune into Nashville's 104.5 The Zone, a terrific sports station that is local for the entire day except for late night and from 10 AM to noon.

That's when the sweet baritone of Dan Patrick soothes us listeners.

Today he started talking about a potential deal that involved the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay for the Golden State Warriors' Monta Ellis. Patrick made it sound like it was more than just a rumor, and that was later confirmed when I got home and saw some legitimate talks were going on between the teams.

At first glance, it's really a tidy deal. It's a deal that NBA prognosticators like to draw up because it fits on so many levels.

First, Memphis is in desperate need of a consistent three-point threat. It can be reasonably argued that the Grizzlies would've been in the Western Conference Finals had they had just one solid perimeter shooter.

Second, Golden State needs to develop its front court, which is anchored by David Lee. Dorell Wright is a quality small forward, which means the addition of Gay, an All-Star small forward, would provide both depth and flexibility for Mark Jackson's team.

Finally, there's Jerry West. That's what really makes this deal click. West was the GM of the Grizzlies when they traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for Rudy Gay during the 2006 NBA Draft. They had an amiable relationship, and now West sits on the executive board of Golden State.

The potential trade might be a match made in heaven as far as the pieces involved, but it would be one of the worst things that Memphis could do.

He's the lifeblood of the Grizzlies and was there before things started taking off. In his rookie season, Memphis had the worst record in the NBA at 22-60.

They managed to achieve that same record in his second season, but Gay himself scored a solid 20 points per game.

Ever since, he's been the leader on the floor.

Gay is Memphis' most versatile player, capable of hitting an open three while also driving the lane and finishing at the rim. With a weakening Western Conference due to the panic of Eastern teams to keep up with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the Grizzlies need to hold onto as many All-Stars as possible.

Monta Ellis is an extremely good player and would do well in Memphis. The only caveat is that the Grizzlies have no need for yet another shooting guard. O.J. Mayo and Xavier Henry are already on the roster and are plenty good enough.

Adding Ellis would only cause Mayo's trade value to drop since other NBA teams would see that Memphis needs to dump him.

The Memphis Grizzlies need to hold on to Rudy Gay, and even if they decide to move the face of the franchise, it needs to be for a big man. Not another guard.


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