MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 13: Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies falls into the tv camera after being fouled by the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 13, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee. 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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Over at NBC Sports' ProBasketball Talk, Grizzlies fan and SOV friend Matt Moore provides some great analysis into the rumors that the Golden State Warriors are looking to upgrade their small forward position, and have targeted Rudy Gay (among others). The problem is that they simply don't have that many assests. As Moore writes:
Their biggest assets on roster are Stephen Curry, David Lee, the expiring-by-virtue-of-non-guaranteed-in-2013-2014 contract of Andris Biedrins. Curry is the best young player they have, Lee has a monster contract with four years, $57 million left on it, and Biedrins is just painfully low on value. Dorrell Wright, a crack shooter, would likely be involved in a deal along with the seven. But is any team going to take the No. 7 in what is considered to be a weak draft, Dorrell Wright, and either David Lee’s salary or Biedrins’ dead weight for their franchise small forward?
While it is unclear how Rudy fits into this roster going forward and many fans wish to see him moved, one thing is certain: this is probably not a good trade for the Grizzlies. With the current roster, this team is in win-now mode and none of those pieces guarantee a better short- or long- term future than the current model of the team. If Memphis were to go through with a trade along these lines, it would only create more problems.
For one, someone would need to soak up Gay's 37 minutes a game and above-average production at the 3. Wright's a nice role player, but that would asking too much of him. The Grizzlies could use the 7th pick to pick up a wing, but the only small forward realistically in that range is Harrison Barnes (NBADraft.net has him at No. 5 and Draft Express has him at 7...for the record, Barnes is the type of prospect whose stock is likely to rise during the combines so I wouldn't expect to see him still on the board for the 7th pick). Even if Barnes were available when Memphis made its pick, his ceiling is probably the same as the player he'd be traded for, only it's doubtful that he could provide the same level of production as Rudy immediately. As for the other pieces, Lee is basically a lesser Zach Randolph on a contract that's just as bad as Gay's, whereas Biedrins is pretty much worthless other than as an expiring contract and extra cap space needn't be a concern for a team looking to win now.
Although many Grizzlies' fans would love to see Rudy moved in order to upgrade the roster, this kind of deal is not the way to go about it. Essentially, this kind of trade that weakens the team in the short-term and simply spins the wheels without moving in the long-term. Perhaps Gay ought to be traded; perhaps he shouldn't be. Regardless, a better offer needs to come along before the front office seriously considers anything.