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Last year, in the midst of their magical playoff run, people said, “The Grizzlies should trade Rudy Gay — they don’t need him.” During the offseason, pundits, sports radio and fans alike continued to say similar things. Then, the season started and Zach Randolph, the main cog of last season’s success, went down with an injury. Suddenly, Rudy Gay wasn’t just another player — he was the team’s best player once again. And what happened? Interestingly enough…the team kept winning at the same pace they were on last year without Rudy and with Zach.

Yesterday, in an interview conducted with Patrick Minton from The NBA Geek, the idea of trading Rudy was broached once again. Here’s what Minton had to say:

From a cap perspective, the Grizzlies’ biggest problem is that they overpaid a lot for Rudy Gay, and this contract is going to limit their flexibility for years to come. He’d be precisely the kind of player I would try to trade while he still has the perception of being “a star”, but somehow I doubt that Grizzlies’ management will agree with my assessment.

Well, Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace might not be listening to him, but I am. So, if we assume that Rudy is overpaid (a reasonable conclusion) and that the Grizzlies would be just as good without him (quite a bit more of a stretch), then what should they get for him? Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Crash Override
Memphis gets: Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby
Portland gets: Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights

Gerald Wallace is relentless. That’s the only way I know to describe him. Not a great shooter, but a do-everything guy who would fit in on this grit & grind team — while costing half as much as Rudy. And Camby is still getting it done on the boards and in the paint — and on a sizable expiring contract, as well.

Seeing Green
Memphis gets: Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal, Keyon Dooling
Boston gets: Rudy Gay, Jeremy Pargo

Ray Allen gives the Grizzlies a deadly outside shooter with a penchant for hitting big shots in clutch situations. He and Tony Allen can start on the wings against most teams without issue. Dooling is an upgrade as the backup PG. O’Neal is a serviceable big with an expiring contract. Oh, lookee there…all three of them are on expiring deals…totaling $18.4 million, which makes for a nice cushion full of potential come summertime.

Salary Dump
Memphis gets: Mehmet Okur, Anthony Morrow, Shawne Williams
New Jersey gets: Rudy Gay

With Okur and Williams coming off the books at nearly $14 million combined, this would give the Grizzlies plenty of cap room to pursue a free agent or make a play for a big trade in the offseason. Morrow would give the Grizzlies a solid outside shooting threat and could make re-signing O.J. Mayo unnecessary.

Lob Angeles
Memphis gets: Caron Butler, Ryan Gomes, Chauncey Billups
Los Angeles gets: Rudy Gay, Jeremy Pargo, Sam Young

Much like the Portland trade, Memphis gets a SF who, while not quite as productive as Rudy, still costs half as much. Billups can back up both guard spots, freeing up a Mayo trade, and Gomes offers depth at both forward positions. Also, I’d just love to see CP3′s head explode trying to figure out who to throw the lob to on that new starting lineup. The mid-air collisions between Rudy, Blake and DeAndre would lead Sportscenter every night.

Finally, we have the trade that got me to thinking about this as a post idea, rather than just idle chatter. This one was sent to me by Ryan on Twitter a couple of weeks ago: Trade Machine

Memphis gets: Daniel Gibson, Tyler Hansbrough, Omri Casspi
Cleveland gets: Rudy Gay, George Hill
Indiana gets: Ramon Sessions, Marreese Speights, Sam Young

The reasoning: Psycho T is better than Speights, Gibson gives us another shooter, it frees up money to re-sign O.J. this offseason. I maintain that quality > quantity in the NBA, but if you want financial flexibility and some good role players, this is not the worst way to go.

As you can see, there’s no superstar in return for Rudy, but mostly just the plan for a poor man’s version of him at half the price with flexibility for the future. Of course, if the prevailing opinion is correct and “we don’t really need him”, then that’s exactly what we should be looking to do.

Stay tuned…because on Thursday we’re talking about who we should send Z-Bo to, since we apparently don’t need him either.

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14 Responses to Trade Rudy? Trade Zach? Trade everybody?

  1. AlexNo Gravatar says:

    I like the Wallace trade. He would be perfect for Memphis. The other deals….blehhh.

  2. WTFNo Gravatar says:

    The Portland trade is the only one that makes sense, the rest is pure trash.

  3. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    If Portland would do that deal, we should do that yesterday. I love Rudy, and I think if he could ever figure it out he could be a top 15 player in the league, but the reality is that he probably is what he is. The problem is, we’re already paying him like he’s a top 15 player. Wallace gives us more dependable D at the 3, and Camby could actually spell Gasol. I don’t think there’s much of a chance the Blazers pull the trigger on that one, though.

    Honestly now is the best time in the world to sell on Rudy, as much as I’d hate to see him go. Otherwise we’ll be trapped in a long-term bad cap situation. We’re not NY, LA, or Dallas and we can’t afford to pay the luxury tax.

  4. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Gerald Wallace in Beale St. Blue and Camby coming off the bench would be incredible.

  5. btrautscNo Gravatar says:

    Hold the phone…

    Marcus Camby? With Rudy Gay in the deal – What?

    Let’s have some more fun and look at a couple potential game changing trades…

    The flurry of deals in the next week will be about teams moving to try and win a championship, give up and start rebuilding, or cut costs to make a run at summer FA’s.

    How about MEM, GS, NJ –
    Memphis wants more flexibility (add shooters around Zbo & Marc)
    GS wants to get rid of Monta to go all in with Curry + add a star
    NJ wants to add trade bait/ summer cap space for Dwight

    Grizz get: Monta Ellis + Anthony Morrow
    GS gets: Rudy Gay
    NJ gets: OJ Mayo

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=87w52eu

    Another possibility: Boston, ATL, MEM

    Grizz get – Josh Smith + Ray Allen
    Celtics get – Gay, Mayo, Jeff Teague
    ATL gets – Rajon Rondo

    ATL gets a franchise PG to pair with J Johnson, Horford (and gets rid of Smith)

    Boston goes young – probably gives up at least a pick or two in the process and effectively rebuilds with Teague @ point, OJ and Gay coexisting with leaders Pierce & Garnett

    Memphis replaces Gay with a more efficient but more passive Josh Smith, who still brings highlight dunks and solid defense, but probably less game winners. Ray Allen comes with an expiring 10M contract, but brings huge shot making abilities. The team can make a run at resigning him or have cap space in the summer for flexibility.

    Just two thoughts – I am strongly against moving Gay or OJ without bringing in at least a “relatively” young player with potential

  6. TerryNo Gravatar says:

    I know its not likely but what about trying for Rondo. We could offer Conley, Gay and Mayo for Rondo, Allen and Dooling. Boston is looking for someone to build around and that would give them a solid 1-3 for the next couple of years. And imagine Marc running pick n roll with Rondo and Allen draining corner 3′s for us.

  7. JeremiahNo Gravatar says:

    Rudy is Memphis. He started this, he should be givin the chance to see Memphis succeed.

  8. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Of all the trades, the Portland one makes the most sense . . .

    However, I’m still for standing pat — at least until we see both Rudy & Zach on court together in the post season. I know I’m not the only one who believes the Grizz could have made a run to the Finals if we’d had a healthy Rudy Gay in the OKC series.

    Let’s not break up the team just yet. Not when we haven’t given it a chance to work.

  9. GermanGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

    The Portland trade is the only logical one, but I’d very much prefer to stand pat and not do a thing. We’ll be fine with the guys we have…

  10. btrautscNo Gravatar says:

    Are you guys seriously considering trading Rudy (one of the “up & coming” young stars of the league, who is 25.5 years old… averages 19 pts, 6.7 rbs, shoots 45%…

    For Wallace who will be 30 this summer, has similar stats (-5 pts/gm), but is declining in scoring ability.
    And Camby, who will turn 38 this month?

    If this happened…Yes, the Grizz would be even better on defense, have an extra 11M in cap room from Camby next summer (because he would not resign) and generally be “ok” offensively, probably in the lower 10 pts/gm…
    BUT, the team ages dramatically – and we can’t forget that Memphis is not exactly a hot FA destination.

    Sure we can resign Mayo (and probably overpay).

    Memphis would need at minimum a 1st round pick to do that deal. Or…I would demand Batum.

    Then the deal is great, and the grizz can add the 2nd round pick to sweeten the pot.

  11. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    I just really don’t want to trade Rudy … he’s not Lebron James but he can create offense when we’re out of sync and he hits clutch shots at the end of games. He’s still young and he’s got healthy knees.

  12. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with letting zach come back and seeing what he and rudy can do together. It seemed like last year in the playoffs, even as well as our bigs played, we needed one more scorer.

  13. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Those trades make no sense. Sure we over paid but why downgrade when the team is peaking. Rudy is a still young and a major talent not Chris Paul but close. Nola made out pretty well in that deal. High lottery pick and comparable talent for Mr gay. Anyway, this talk is all in vain. Heisley will never trade him while the team is still winning.

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