Grizzlies Need To Stay The Course





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Members of the Memphis Grizzlies need to turn their phones off, stop answering emails and cut off all lines of communication with their colleagues around the league in regards to Rudy Gay.

Seriously, enough is enough.

We’re talking about the longest-tenured member of the team, a player that, even when he’s struggling with his shot, finds way to produce for one of the best teams in the league.

While it’s easy to see why so many people are interested in trading for him, it’s hard to understand what the Grizzlies are thinking when they dangle Gay out there for other teams to paw at on the trade market.

All that consternation about Gay not being able to co-exist with All-Star power forward Zach Randolph has been put to rest. The Grizzlies have one of the best young cores in the league. They have their big man tandem in Randolph and Marc Gasol, Gay on the wing and a still-improving young point guard in Mike Conley. And they have the right man pushing the buttons in coach Lionel Hollins.

For the Grizzlies’ advanced-stat happy front office, take the words of your head coach to heart when and their stat-happy between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline:

“Analytics has a place, (but) it can’t be the end-all, be-all,” Hollins said on a local radio show. “I’m trying to still figure out when the Oakland Athletics have won a world championship recently, with all the analytics they have.”

No matter what those numbers tell you about Gay, his performance and contributions to this team, trust your eyes. Whatever issues these Grizzlies have — and like all teams, they have them — they don’t revolve around Gay. He’s on the short list of elite-level players at his position.

That said, I applaud the Grizzlies for taking a long-distance view of things and recognizing that with the bulk of their payroll tied up in Randolph, Gasol, Gay and Conley, future roster flexibility is limited. How they’ve come to the conclusion that Gay is the expendable member of the core four, however, is beyond me.

He’s 26 and just now entering the prime of his career. There is still plenty of “upside” where Gay is concerned. What’s not to like about him and what he brings to this team?

Look around the Western Conference and you’d be hard pressed to find a better and more balanced core four than what the Grizzlies have, especially when you consider the age, ability and production of a team’s top four players.

Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien seems to agree with that sentiment, given what he’s said to local reporters recently. That’s why the Grizzlies made that multiple-player deal with Cleveland to clear more than $6 million in payroll and avoid the luxury tax threshold that forced them to consider trading Gay in the first place.

They accomplished both of their objectives with that deal, getting their books in order and giving themselves future flexibility.

Now the Grizzlies’ brain trust has to do the hardest thing in the world for a crew fresh on the front office scene, they have to stay the course with the nucleus of this team and resist the urge to tinker with the foundation of this team just because they can.

Stay the course!

63 Comments

  1. Samuel says:

    From the looks of things the grizzlies will come away with Ed Davis, Tashawn Prince, Austin Daye and a 2nd round pick for Gay. I’d say they did good if this is true.

  2. I do believe all of the ideas you have introduced on your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for starters. May you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  3. Showmen says:

    Gay needs to stop trying to fit in with Zack and start taking over this team. With his talent, he should be challenging to be called the best player in the game. It’s frustrating watching him not play to his max. I hope he reads message boards and take this to heart!

  4. Tddavis says:

    I like Rudy Gay, with his size and athletic ability he can potentially be right there with Lebron, and KD. The comment by TruGRIZZ Fan was right on point; but, for him to change and become the agressive goto guy that the Grzl’s need the coach need to impower him to become that player and preach same to his team-mate(e.g. Koby dosen’t need to be coached to do that but rebember Leborn did not take that attitude in the Heat’s first finals with the big 3 but now he does in tight games). Coach need to draw up plays and put the ball in his hands at winning time that’s why they pay these guys max contracts. If he proves that he cannot handle it then trade him. That’s my take. They have a realy good nucleus, but to win a championship you got to have a go to guy (e.g. Koby, LJ, KD, Melo, Dirk). Come-on coach give the wrings’ to rudy and see if he can handle them. Can you remember a championship team without a main goto guy.

  5. Raptors No.1 says:

    Can’t wait to see him play for the Raptors! He would fit in super well.

  6. darin says:

    there stupid for trying to trade rudy or arthur they should keep who they have and play there cards right

  7. Samuel says:

    I think Gay is a really good player, however, it depends on what you’re getting back. Memphis is kinda stuck right below elite. If they could get a Josh Smith or Paul Pierce back, then I would do it. Not for no scrubs though.

  8. Biggest Raptors Fan says:

    I am the biggest Raptors fan to walk this earth! Every time someone realizes that I am a Toronto fan, I hear it from all angles! Please bring us Rudy!!!!!!! Let’s go back to our winning days!!!! Make that da** trade and start a new course Memphis!!!

  9. Tom says:

    They had their best playoff run with Gay injured, definitely trade imo

  10. TruGRIZZ Fan says:

    I’m from Memphis and have been a Grizz fan since they moved here from Vancouver. I love the core group of this team, including Rudy Gay. However, I do feel he is overpaid for his performance on the floor. Gay has not yet lived up to his full potential and I don’t know if he ever will. True enough with scoring coming from others (Z-bo, Marc, n Conley) Rudy doesn’t have to average 25 a game or shoot alot of shots. However, with the size and athleticism Rudy has he should not be settling for 18-20 footers every night! He should be going to the hole, drawing fouls, and getting to the free throw line! He shoots way to many jumpers and bails the opposing defense out. There are too many times where he’s out on the perimeter dribbling out of control and ends up shooting a contested 20 footer when he should be going to the rack or posting somebody up. Rudy Gay averages about 4 FT attempts in the game when other top SF’s average closer to 8 or 9. He would probably average over 20 a game if he just went to the hole. That shows me a lack of aggressiveness and killer instinct. In which a player making the money he makes should be extremely aggresive and have that killer instinct like a Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant (and Gay is not close to those guys level). Also, the Grizz have moments in games were they just can’t score. Now this is not all Rudy’s fault, however he doesn’t help in those situations. For him to have a max contract his performance on the floor should be way better and he shouldn’t struggle as much as he does.

    • the cub says:

      I agree – he’s seemed to have backed off – maybe a confidence thing. Hollins needs to tell him more and more – attack the basket! He’s not gonna be traded (this season at least), not especially for some of these ridiculus suggestions – Raptors keep dreaming

  11. pzy says:

    For some reason Tony Allen was not mentioned in this blog. Im pissed.

  12. Bird says:

    You Grizzlies fans are very ungrateful. Rudy is a great player.

  13. Sports Fan says:

    Rudy is a perfect fit for Memphis. First of all, he isn’t even the #1 option for the Grizz all the time. They usually run pick and rool with Conley and Gasol or run an iso/ post up for Zbo. In my opinion, he plays great defense. You hardly ever see a LeBron or Kevin Durant going for 30 or 40 points on the Grizz. He might not be playing well right now, but that might be due to the fact that his name hasn’t been out of the trade rumors since last year. Plus, if the Grizz decide to keep him over Paul Pierce, they would have a better shot at getting to the finals, because he’s younger. I go to the majority of Grizz home games. now if the nuggets offered Iggy or Galanari it might be a different story…

  14. Tyrone says:

    I bet cav fans are pretty pumped about getting gay though, would be a nice addition to kyrie and varejao

  15. Top 4 SF hell nah!!!
    1. James
    2. Durant
    3. Melo
    4. Demg
    5. Pierce
    6. Gay

    • Ken says:

      I would take Gay over Deng or Pierce.

      • Bulls2012 says:

        No I rather have deng bz……Hes top three best SF defenders a game and can play 35-40 minutes a game…and he averages 17 a game..The list is accurate

    • me says:

      Bron ain’t a true SF, dude is a hybrid he even plays point sometimes. Durant is a PF and sometimes he even plays center, not a true SF either. And Deng b4 Pierce? boy, you mad? So the list should be:

      Melo
      Pierce
      Deng
      Gay

  16. what top 4 SF nah James, KD, Melo, Deng, Pierce, then Gay

  17. The problem is that while that multi player trade with the cavs helped now, the problem is still there waiting on later to show up.
    there is zero flexibility with the core 4 being locked down. Now if heisley had given him the 50/60 earlier than the 82 later… this wouldn’t be an issue.
    As a griz season ticket holder i understand how un-replaceable rudy is… but there are problems too. he’s not a great defender or ball handler which can be over-looked some but as you mentioned… he’s interring his prime while having one of the worst seasons of his career. That’s very troubling. Zbo is the face of the franchise, Allen is the heart. Rudy is paid like he’s both but is neither.
    I love rudy, i dont want him to go. marc and mike are off the table. that leaves zbo and rudy to move… neither are replaceable but rudy definitely brings the most return value imo and i think the team is better of with zbo and no rudy than it would be with rudy and no zbo. especially if the 3 is filled by a better shooter and defender.

  18. Champ&U says:

    Trade him to the pistons I need somebodie to go see @ the Palace and I bet we make the playoffs

  19. T-DOT says:

    he is most likely going to be traded to toronto for ed davis and jose calderon and probably some money apparently the grizzlies are thinking on a deal with the raps of rudy gay and darrel arthur for ed davis and jose but i rather trade bargnani and calderon for rudy and darrel because ed davis is going to be later in his carrer one of the most dominant power forward / centre in the nba!

    • the cub says:

      Dream on – when you wake up make sure you aint got concussion from rolling outta the bed and hitting your soft head!

  20. Los says:

    Not saying they should or shouldn’t trade him, but he’s definitely not a max player

  21. Heatles631 says:

    Rudy Gay is hands down the best player on the Griz. But if they are looking to trade him maybe they should turn their eyes towards Paul Pierce. Rudy would bring a lot of yound explosive talent to boston with Rondo’s injury, and Pierce would bring that championship mentailty to memphis .Not to mention he would also be that clutch guy they need to close out games. I dont want to see Pierce leave the C’s but i think that would be a good trade for both teams.

    • Ken says:

      You have never watched a Grizzlies game if you believe that. Tony Allen is more vital at this point than Gay. He’s a low percentage but explosive scorer that has been inconsistent and rarely clutch. I love the guy, but he’s expendable.

  22. toddric29 says:

    I’m a Grizzlies fan and I watch every game, With that being said, he is highly overrated, definitely not an elite player at his position, and is expendable.

  23. Than says:

    Rudy belongs to the Grizz…One last year and if they don’t get past the first round then they should really start thinking about shaking up the roster. But that doesn’t exactly means rudy has to go. I mean he is on max contract ( so much money for a guy of less than 20 ppg and so many defensive struggles) but he is the youngest of their core. Gay is a decent SF with high future prospects. How many talented SFs are really out there? You got Lebron, KD, Melo. They fom a special clan. But besides them, the only SF who can offer both defensively and offensively in the future is Rudy. He just needs time and trade-free thinking.

  24. David says:

    its super dumb, and very irrational being thinking about trading Rudy Gay, lets being reasonable, we have the playoffs coming up huge this year, every team that is gonna participate in that decisive-match-up is physically and mentally ready, while we have he Grizzles a team with high capacity of winning, and plus Rudy Gay is one of the winning Motor of that team, my opinion is that, im a trading in this phase of the season and more for the coming up playoffs, and he is actually a good player.
    see how they destroyed Bynum, He was doing good until the decided to trade him.

  25. markabby says:

    trade gay and arthur for deng and hamilton it would be good

    • Ken says:

      DO NOT TRADE ARTHUR as well! If the price is right, Gay is expendable; I love him and have been a Grizz fan since the Vancouver days, but realistically, Gay could be traded for more suitable parts. BUT, that being said he should only be traded for suitable parts that make sense. If nothing valuable is available, he’s better staying put. Of all the scenarios I’ve heard the only one that made any sense was Gay for Pau Gasol. I like the concept of putting Pau at SF and playing with his brother. And Gay would probably fit in better in LA if Kobe allows him the ball. The big sticking point would be his salary. The Grizz don’t want to pay it anymore, and LA wouldn’t want to pay it to have him has a 3rd or 4th option.

      • a01132272 says:

        Pau Gasol at SF? are you crazy? He cant guard smaller more explosive players. He’d get torched by Lebron, Melo, KD, hell even Gay himself would destroy Pau if he had to guard him. Pau cant shoot 3′s, he cant even hit mid range shots, he’s been begging for inside touches all season long, what makes you love the idea of Pau as SF?

  26. LALakers to the championship run says:

    Trade him to lakers for metta world peace

  27. Michal says:

    Does anybody know where to get that photo of Rudy in a light blue alternate jersey?

    Thanks!

  28. Peter says:

    For all the idiots that think Gay is an average SF, have u stopped to reconsider why his stats r that low…..all 5 players in the starting lineup can score and the run the offense through Randolph first, if Rudy Gay had a Mediocre Lineup, U guys might actually be surprised and shut the hell up for a change. Rudy is the 4th best SF in the league behind James, KD and Melo, get it right, don’t get it twisted.

    • Kyle says:

      Thank you… They did this with pau a few years ago, and what happened, pau got a ring and Memphis went back to the bottom… I’m not saying that with pau the grizz would have won, but with Rudy, they are winning and have a legit shot… And to those saying he has missed game winners… Of course he has… So has Kobe, KD, bronbron, and every one else… But he also makes som impressive shots (like over Lebron for the game winner)

      Some Memphis fans just can never be happy with supremely athletic players because it looks like they aren’t trying and that I not what we want in Memphis…. Honestly there just isnt enough ball to go around for everyone to put up huge numbers in Memphis

  29. Do you watch the games consistently and in their entirety, Sekou? Rudy rarely plays defense. Do not be fooled by the couple of blocks/steals he may have in a game, as overall he rotates poorly and leaves teammates in tough spots.

    It does no good to be on a MAX contract as an offensive threat, yet average just under 20 PPG. How much does 20 a game help when you routinely give up 20-30 points to your matchup every night?

    I like the core group (including Gay), but if they are going to trade someone…..Rudy is the guy.

    • Jason says:

      As another Grizz fan I agree with you… Sekou says trust your eyes and not the stats… stupidest thing I ever heard. BUT, my eyes have seen Rudy Gay miss MANY a last second shot, and on several occasions interrupting the flow of the offense to the big men inside. For what? For 30% shooting? Not worth the money, trade him while his value is up for a shooter… if his shooting percentage was up I’d have no problem with his lack of D… but if neither are good, whats the argument for him?

  30. kevin nicholls INDIANAPOLIS says:

    If he’s been stuggling since the trade talk and letting outside interference distract him then what is he really worth, really good players elavaute there game when distractions come before them, the grizzles are a good team but there not contenders, they have a few all star players but not that superstar player to led them to a championship.

    • Champ&U says:

      I can name a team that had no superstars and took it all
      the detroit pistons and if they trade gay it would be like the pistons
      trading billups again and look since that trade they have been 1
      of the nba’s laughers dont be a laugher memphis

      • kevin nicholls INDIANAPOLIS says:

        the pistons are the only team to do that like in the last thrity years, and they could trade gay because the have the bigs in the paint.

  31. Drummerboy says:

    He’s over rated?! are you kidding me Rudy Gay is very underated he is the Memphis Grizzliez franchise

    • Bulls2012 says:

      Rudy Gay is very OVERRATED…Im not trying to be bogus or anything, but you should not franchise a player when his career is about 17.8 ppg. The Bulls have Deng and he averages 17 a game……A franchise player is like Durant, Kobe, Drose, Lebron, Howard, Dirk, Aldrige, CP3, Rondo, Westbrook…Rudy Gay is a great number two option, but no number one..Hes a god player but not as good as memphis thinks he is and alot of ppl see that.

      DONT GET ME WRONG ILL LOVE TO HAVE A GUY LIKE GAY ON THE BULLS.

      • Krishawn-MIA says:

        ypur’e right, i really liked him coming into the league. but i feel he hasnt lived up to his potential. 17.8 ppg cant get it done for a franchinse player. Ireally thought this was his year to elevate his game further

      • Bulls2012 says:

        I thought the same thing..I thought Memphis can be the second best team in the West if gay can average about 20-25 points a game, but they are the same team from last year..and looks like they are gonna get rid of some bad contracts

    • Mr.Sir says:

      i know what’ll work…gay to bucks…for ellis :) ur welcome NBA! hahahah

  32. TTKIN says:

    If the Lakers arent making any moves, I dont see why the Grizz should. Grizz are good to go. I still dont think this team has had a real playoff chance yet. they surprised everyone against SA so I dont count that. Last year was a real chance, but they blew a huge lead in Game 1 and never recovered (everyone knew the Clipps were tkaing that series after game 1). Just like OKC took a few trips to the postseason b4 they figured it out, I say this is the year for that. If the Grizz cant do anything in the playoffs this year, then itd be time to explore trades (I said explore, I didnt say actually make any).

  33. James Scott of Memphis says:

    Rudy Gay is not an elite player. I look at stats, and Gay’s are no more than an average SF in the NBA. We see that he’s not elite by seeing Anthony Davis amd Iggy beating him for spots on the olympic team. We see in that in game where the Grizzlies are struggling and he’s unable to take the game over in any way (scoring, rebounding, setting up teammates, defensive stops). His number one problem is his consistency issues. The trigger happy J.R. Smith has an identical if not better statline than his. (LOOK IT UP). If I were the GM I would push for Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, or go young with either Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, or Evan Turner and Nick Young. If those can’t happen, I’d push for getting two players, 1SF-1SG or 2SF that are good 3pt shooters.

    • Cody says:

      Ummm… can’t say that is always the case, he hit the GW in Miami and has several other teammates who are just as capable, he just has a balanced stat line because he’s not trigger happy and not necessarily shy from making a move either, he just knows what to do, when to do it, and where to do it. Does that always win a championship? Not necessarily, but it does win games and gets more teammates involved. If you read too much into the stat line then you are probably going to end up with the Amare/Melo situation, both with amazing stat lines individually and together they aren’t absolutely the greatest or even Kobe/Howard atm. I say keep em.

    • to james scott says:

      gay is mostly a sf he got beat out by carmelo and lebron for the olympic team

    • lordkrimson says:

      Anthony Davis didnt beat him out He was christian Laetner of this years team. Dou you think Laetner beat out Dominique, Isiah, or any of those guys playing back then?

  34. Jeevan says:

    Couldn’t have said it better Sekou! I really think if all the trade talk stopped, it would help Gay actually focus on what’s important and that’s winning. In my opinion, they have the best front court in the entire league and making such an irrational decision right before playoffs would be a huge mistake. Stats don’t take into account a lot of the intangibles he brings to the team and the chemistry the team has . Here’s to hoping the Grizzlies office gets their act together!

  35. LDV says:

    They’re dumb for even thinking about trading him.

  36. AnnoYouLater says:

    i think he’s over rated…he is explosive but thats it, aside from that he’s pretty mediocre for me…

    • lol says:

      you dont watch many of his games thats why youre saying that

    • NBAfan says:

      I don’t blame you for thinking he is over-rated. He obviously can do more than he has. I think he can be a 25-5-5 guy and throw in a 1.5 stls and 1.0 blks.

      He is super athletic, and he has skills. He doesn’t have that superstar mentality as well and works on it.

      I’m a big Rudy Gay fan and every year, I keep hoping that he finally lives up to his potential. As long-tenured as he may be with the Grizz…maybe he’ll blossom somewhere else…

      I think he can be the main man on a play-off team, or the secondary choice for a championship team…

  37. Raps Fan says:

    Don’t stay the course! Trade him to the Raptors! It would be wise!

    • big cat says:

      hes going to the raps for bargs and landry fields, small forward has been the raps Achilles heel for ages now , he’s the perfect guy to fill the gap starting five calderon , derozan , gay , davis , valenciunas

      • Malik says:

        your an idiot. the fact that you would want calderon and valenciunas in a roster let alone a start up is setting the raptors more backward than moving forward.

      • big cat says:

        I don’t want calderon and valenciunas in the starting lineup , that’s just the guys they have , you could replace them in the starting lineup with kyle lowry and amir Johnson but would that make them any better , NO , do your homework dummy