What’s this I’m hearing? Memphis putting Rudy Gay on the trade block? Apparently they want some more financial flexibility to keep OJ Mayo + Darrell Arthur (& Tony Allen for 2013-14), + they’re owner refuses to flirt with the the very notion of a Luxury tax threshold. This is sweat music to my ears……… and it should be to all Dubs fans. Why?
Gay is a borderline All-Star immediately & would also add to our appeal as a destination for aging establish vets in the coming years. He would also make us an instance force alongside our other 4 starters. The key to this possible scenario is not to give up one of our other prized assets (ie: our starters) otherwise we create other holes we would have trouble filling. If the Grizz are making noises like they don’t want him, I’m certainly keen to hear his price-tag. From the outset, let's face it, the centerpiece to this trade will be giving up picks - most notably our 7th.
The money side of things….
I know, I know…….. I hear all you saying “why the hell do we wanna take on another massive contract”, and one that runs all the way to 2014-2015 (another 3 yrs) at an average of 17.5 million per (wow!) Look at it this way though. If we dump at least one of our useless contracts to the Grizz such as Beans (Biedrins, 2 yrs at 9 million per) or RJ (Jefferson, 2 yrs average of 10.5 million per), then we are two-thirds of the way there from a maths perspective. I’d much prefer Beans to go at this stage, and I’ll discuss this from a Memphis angle when I mention teams needs below. We’d also definitely have to drop in Dorrell Wright (1 yr – 4 million) + our 7th pick (7th player contract costs an average of 2.5 million per year for 3 yrs) so that’s the salaries basically matched up. We will also lose D Wright at the end of next season via free-agency (for nothing), as no doubt he’s sick of hearing about how GSW are looking for a real small forward to start. It’s also of note that Memphis only have 1 draft pick this year (1st round, # 25, with no 2nd rounders) so they would be keen to grab at least one of our two second rounders too. They’d want our 35th pick but we could try & push our luck to on-send them the 52nd pick instead. But lets face it, we may need to give up both 2nd rounders or perhaps a future 2nd rounder instead.
Team needs (aka basketball reasons) This trade does make some sense for Memphis whom have a couple of large-ish holes to fill. Memphis are a woeful 3 point shooting team. They rank somewhere between 26-29th in the league in all the major three-point stats (overall shots taken, made & FG percentage). Dorrell Wright helps here instantly, even in a bench capacity (dare I suggest 6th man). Dorrell can light it up when given the space & is probably as close to a 3 point specialist as Memphis could get via a viable trade. D Wright made twice as many 3’s as Gay this year in 10 less minutes per game. He also did it at a much higher clip (36% vs 31%). Better three-point shooting would then free-up up Z-Bo, Marc Gasol & Mike Connely. If Memphis could land Harrison Barnes with our 7th pick, then he immediately takes on the starting 3 role with D Wright a capable back-up. As for where Biedrans comes into this…….. we all know he was a mere stiff for us this year, but perhaps if he slid-in behind Marc Gasol he could actually learn some things (& maybe even contribute – gulp). You see Memphis have no other centres on the books for next year with Speights a restricted free-agent (FA) and Haddidi a straight-up FA. So centre is a need. Unlikely they keep both Speights & Haddidi, so centre is a definite need. If Beans ends up being complete deadwood after year 1, then the Grizz could consider using their 1-time amnesty that they still have up their sleeve.
As for OUR team needs. Rudy Gay is long, hes a terrific rebounder at the 3 position, he can defend pretty well, he’s shown that he can hit clutch shots too. He possesses a rainbow J that he hits with a high degree of regularity, and he can also slash & get to the rim. He can also stretch his range to 3, but doesn’t camp out there as a 1-dimensional bomber (see RJ or D Wright whom do this regularly). He certainly would spread the floor, just like Klay & Curry, and give Lee / Bogut room to move.
So all in all…. The cost of Gay is where the decision making lies. He would cost us at least: our 7th pick + D Wright + Biedrens (& his contract) + a 2nd rounder (better make that 2). Worth it? Personally I think its worth it to gain a guy with Gay’s upside, despite the massive salary we take on. We also need to start winning NOW whilst Bogey & Lee are in their prime (both are nearin their latter 20's soon). Things will remain pretty tight on our books until we can get rid of both RJ & Beans salaries anyway. Once they are gone, we will have the flexibility (a little bit) to keep Curry should we want to (ankles dependent) & to see how Bogut pans out (he’s owed 2 more years before becoming a FA).
What do people think? Fire away………….