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Why the Grizzlies SHOULDN’T sign Rudy Gay

Part 2 of our series on Rudy Gay looks at why the Grizzlies should leave well enough alone.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This is Part II of a two-part series on Rudy Gay. Be sure and check out Part I here.

In Part I of this series, I compared Rudy’s numbers from his time in Memphis to his time in Sacramento before arguing for why the Grizzlies should #BringRudyHome.

For reference, here are the numbers, both advanced stats and per-36:

Advanced Stats

Rudy Gay Advanced Stats MEM SAC
Rudy Gay Advanced Stats MEM SAC
PER 16.43 18.18
TS% 0.526 0.555
TRB% 9.33 9.93
AST% 10.10 14.30
TOV% 11.75 12.70
USG% 24.53 25.45
WS/48 0.091 0.100
BPM 0.733 1.100
VORP 1.700 1.525


Rudy Gay Per 36 MEM SAC
Rudy Gay Per 36 MEM SAC
FG% 0.452 0.463
3P% 0.335 0.348
2P% 0.479 0.493
FTA 4.00 5.08
FT% 0.779 0.837
TRB 5.72 6.38
AST 2.10 2.90
STL 1.33 1.38
BLK 0.80 0.73
TOV 2.30 2.63
PF 2.35 2.58
PTS 18.1 20.2
AST-TO 0.913 1.105

Now, the Grizzlies SHOULDN’T sign Rudy because:

He’ll be 31 and coming off an Achilles injury. Remember when the Grizzlies had Mario Chalmers? Chalmers provided ball-handling, shooting, and a legitimate backup to Mike Conley for Memphis in 2016 before blowing out his Achilles. Last season, Chalmers couldn’t find his way onto a roster at all, even while the Grizzlies were relying on Andrew Harrison and Toney Douglas.

In other words, Achilles injuries, especially to players over 30, ain't no joke.

Rudy is still a high-usage player with the potential to gum-up the offense. Excluding his rookie season, Rudy averaged a 24.5% usage rate. That rate only increased in Sacramento. (Amazingly, Rudy averaged a 30% usage rate in Toronto. For reference LeBron James’ career usage rate is 31.5.)

The Kings aren’t particularly talent rich, but even so, Gay frequently shared the court with Cousins, who used a whopping 34% of the Kings’ possessions himself. And even during the lone season that Gay spent with Rondo on the roster, Rudy’s usage only dipped down to 22.4%.

It’s worth wondering if Gay might be willing to take more of a back seat to Conley and Gasol with experience — and an injury — under his belt, but Gay’s history isn’t encouraging there, and that could cause issues with ball movement for Fizdale’s offense.

Using the MLE on Rudy, a player already past his prime coming off a major injury, doesn’t offer any upside for a team looking for value. I mentioned earlier that the Grizzlies should use the mid-level exception on Rudy because they know what they’re getting with the player.

But there’s also a counter argument to that: the Rudy Gay of most recent vintages is likely the best case scenario. In case I haven’t hammered this point home well enough to this point: RUDY GAY IS OVER THIRTY AND COMING OFF AN ACHILLES INJURY. The Rudy Gay you get on his next contract is probably going to be markedly worse than the previous iterations. And even if he’s not markedly worse…well, this Achilles injury probably isn’t going to magically make him better.

Even if the Grizzlies are looking for pieces to maximize the potential of the Core Four (or what’s left of it following this offseason), Gay’s flaws and downside potential make for a bad match. The Grizzlies have already hit their quota for injury concerns on this roster; they don’t need to add another.

Even if he did once cross up LeBron and dunk on Chris Bosh.

Now that we’ve covered both sides of the argument, what do you think, GBB Readers? Should the Grizzlies bring Rudy home?


Should the Grizzlies sign Rudy Gay?

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