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Commercial Appeal Features Rudy Gay

Ronald Tillery wrote a fine feature about Rudy Gay today. Tillery began with a wrap-up of essentially all we already know about Rudy's summer: he gained significant weight in muscle, killed it in Team USA minicamps, wants to be an All-Star this season, and contract extension talks are occurring.

The only minor revelation occurs after the jump:

"I don't see any reservations from Rudy and his camp," Wallace said. "The city and the franchise have served him well. These types of negotiations take their own course. I wouldn't read anything positive or negative with where we are."

Wallace and Austin have talked several times -- in a cursory manner -- without advancing to specifics about what either side believes is Gay's market value.

Gay insisted his contract status is one load he won't carry.

"I know what I can do on the basketball court," Gay said. "Everything else will work itself out. I love Memphis. Memphis has been my home. This is where I want to be. I really believe this is where I can make big things happen for myself and the Grizzlies.

"I like what's happened this summer. There was definitely a lot of thought put into this offseason with all the changes. I guess we'll know more about what the changes mean when the season starts."

Now I've heard from several other writers that are better connected to the GM's around the league that your typical conversation between two managers, or a manager and an agent, sounds something like this:

"We are interested in trading for a high-scoring, explosive power forward in his prime," if you were talking to the Suns about trading for Amar'e Stoudamire, for instance. Typically you don't name any names, nor do you talk exact figures for contracts. Of course this is only in the first stages of negotiating trades or contracts.

If I had to go out on a limb and guess, which I will, I'm guessing Gay's contract negotiations have sounded like this:

"My client believes his market value is that of a franchise player, similar to a young shooting guard who scores efficiently for a young playoff team."

While Wallace retorts that, "We believe his market value is that of a high-scoring forward with three-point range, who is emerging but still has never led his teams to the playoffs."

So the Grizzlies and Gay still seem to be far apart on this one, but it is good news nonetheless to hear that Rudy has every intention of staying with Memphis, and seems like he wouldn't be upset if the Grizzlies retain him in the next offseason. It's also good to hear that Rudy believes in the direction this franchise is heading.

And while I don't think his dreams of becoming an All-Star this season are realistic in the Western Conference, at least Rudy seems more dedicated to improving the two facets of his game that has needed it since he entered the league, consistency and confidence.