Buying or Selling the Latest Rudy Gay Trade Rumors

Ethan Sherwood Strauss@SherwoodStraussNBA Lead WriterJanuary 9, 2013

Rudy Gay is on the trade market, which is no surprise now that stats-savvy John Hollinger is on board with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Gay is of the canon of overrated scorers. He shoots a lot, winds up on SportsCenter with highlight dunks, but doesn't tangibly help his team.

So this might be a litmus test for whether your team is smart. If yours is the franchise that gambles on Gay, it could be due to a dismissal of math. That would worry me, were I a fan of said team.

Speaking of math, there is the matter of what remains in Rudy Gay's five-year, $82.3 million contract over the next two-and-a-half seasons and how other teams can even fit him on the roster. So far, the most prominent rumor mill entries have been the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors

With that in mind, the Rudy rumors look real, considering the teams involved. 


Buying the Rumor: The Phoenix Suns

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Suns are hot on the Rudy Gay trail. The deal would revolve around Jared Dudley and a future first-round draft pick.

It would be amusing if the Suns reaped incredible luck by getting a first-round pick because the Lakers missed the playoffs, only to then trade that pick for Rudy Gay. Phoenix already has Michael Beasley, a volume scorer who underwhelmed expectations.

Perhaps they now want a better version of Michael Beasley. While I can certainly understand the sentiment, the play should maybe be going for guys who take open shots and find teammates. 

Phoenix's finances (Phoenix's Phinances?) are worse than you think. They're up to over $53 million in committed salary this season and over $45 million the next.

If they add Rudy Gay, his roughly $17 million per year average will constrict the movements of this rebuilding franchise. Then again, that salary would do that to almost any squad.

The Suns seem a liklier Rudy Gay partner because they've demonstrated a willingness to take on low-efficiency swingmen. Sadly for Phoenix fans, I wouldn't bet against this scenario.


Selling the Rumor: Toronto Raptors

 As detailed by Marc Stein of, the Raptors are mighty curious about Rudy Gay. I'm curious as to why they're so curious, seeing as they already have a shoot-first, pass-never wing in DeMar DeRozan. 

I have no clue as to how DeRozan and Gay can fit together, but that would seem to be the plan if the Raptors indeed are dangling rookie Terrence Ross and veteran point guard Jose Calderon. The latter actually might qualify for Toronto's best player this season, but there's no explaining much of what Toronto does. 

Toronto is the least flexible among Rudy Gay suitors because they're overspent and lack trade assets. The Raptors have over $120 million committed for the next two seasons.

If the Raps were dealing DeRozan's $41 million contract for Gay's services, that would be permissible. I doubt that's the case, though. Regardless, Toronto appears like they've taken on too much money already to make this work.


Selling the Rumor: Golden State Warriors

 According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Warriors have expressed moderate interest in Rudy Gay. Though the Dubs like rookie Harrison Barnes on the wing, they want to beef up that position. Brandon Rush was supposed to help out at small forward, but he's out for the season with a torn ACL.

It will be hard for the Warriors to make a trade, because they want Toronto to take Richard Jefferson's two-year, $21 million contract back. Though Jefferson's deal makes for a nice expiring trade chip, you have to wait a year to get to that point. 

Golden State has over $145 million committed over the next two years. They have more trade pieces than Toronto, which affords them some room. I just don't understand why they'd risk so much money on Gay.


That's essentially my position for all these teams. It's a big NBA out there. Splurging on Rudy Gay just defies logic, given his low efficiency and team's deep yearning to part with him.