Feb 29, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois (3) and forwards Brandan Wright (34) and Shawn Marion (0) look on at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Dallas 96-85. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
In case you missed it on SB Nation's NBA page yesterday, Mike Prada smartly and simply laid out what will be the Memphis Grizzlies' ongoing situation with Rudy Gay heading into the 2013 season, or as it also could be known, The Year Big Spending Teams Will Put Their Additional Monies Where Their Already Large Sums of Money Already Are. Or something catchy like that. I'm not sure the NBA is going to come up with a cool "Where Amazing Happens"-type slogan for this shifting event in the league's history anyway (Consider this a submission, though, if you are, NBA. Thanks.).
But yeah, Rudy Gay. Here's the intro to Prada's piece and some thoughts on the predicament, after the jump:
The Grizzlies have long been enamored with Gay's game, giving him a five-year maximum contract in 2010 based mostly on what they hoped he'd become rather than what he actually was. When healthy, Gay has performed much better than he did before signing the contract on both ends of the court, but he is still overpaid relative to his production. That leaves the Grizzlies in a really tough spot. They are caught between the hope of contention and the reality of future finances.
Indeed, Gay's contract will only continue to loom larger as 2013 and the ramifications of that year -- especially for a small market team with a bunch of money already locked up in much of the core that gives them that hope to compete Prada mentioned. And especially when Memphis in full force, sans injuries and with valuable added experience with success and in the postseason from the last few seasons under their belt, may not have even been felt yet.
Do read Prada's take for yourself, but he concludes with the notion that Gay would most likely stay with the Grizzlies for this coming season. These next couple of seasons, though, are all one big uncertain time for the Grizz and the league as a whole. It could come down to one of those offers a franchise can't refuse, but if it doesn't go down like that, Memphis could potentially see themselves lodged between an odd rock-and-hard-place scenario or two: See the team, with Gay flourishing, reach new heights and in turn, make Gay worthy of one more max deal that could vault the organization over the luxury tax or towards other difficult personnel decisions; take a deal for the forward and risk jumping ship too early without ever knowing what could have been; or wait too long to pull the trigger, putting the chances of salvaging a beneficial deal for the long-term future and success of the franchise in jeopardy.
These are only the possibilities readily jumping out of my brain. Surely others could arise as new and unknown developments take place. All that's for sure is that whatever the Grizzlies decide to do with Rudy Gay will probably have rather large implications for the franchise. Yup, that's all.