Memphis Grizzlies Have No Interest In Trading Rudy Gay To Cleveland

We’ve heard plenty of rumors regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers recently, some of them legit, some of them downright laughable. The one that has seem to stuck the most, though, is the rumor that the Cavs were interested in trading for Memphis Grizzlies’ SF Rudy Gay.

Perhaps the Cavaliers did have some interest, but it was always questionable whether the Grizzlies would be interested in trading Gay. The common thought was that the Grizzlies’ playoff run without Gay made him expendable and that they would be open to shedding the giant contract they gave him last year. Dan Gilbert has proven he will spare no expense, so a deal actually kind of made sense.

But according to Grizzlies owner Mike Heisley, we can stop all that talk right now. In a phone interview with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Heisley makes it clear that the Grizzlies are not trading Gay:

“You could do me a favor,” he said.

For you, Mike? Anything.

“Would you please make it clear that we’re not trading Rudy Gay?”

You’re not? But I keep hearing all these NBA types say that you might well trade him.

“I know,” said Heisley. “And, quite frankly, it (ticks) me off. I think it’s cruel to the guy. He died during this period. That’s how much he wanted to play. And to now have to hear that we’re trading him? There’s nothing more untrue than that.”

So, I should write that he’ll be back?

“Let me tell you something,” said Heisley. “No disrespect to Oklahoma City, but if we had had Rudy Gay, we would have won the bleepity-bleep series going away. I really believe that.”

So there you have it. Never say never, but it sure sounds like that is an owner determined to keep that team together and see where they can go. And you know what? Good for him. I love seeing small-mid market teams stepping up and trying to keep their teams intact.

If there really is a changing of the guard in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies proved that they can play with the powers that be in the West. So adding Rudy Gay to a team that just came about 1 quarter short of possibly advancing to the Western Conference Finals sounds like a pretty decent idea, even if all that money they’re giving him might be better used on adding multiple pieces.

Regardless, it was always going to be a challenge for the Cavaliers to acquire Gay anyway. Once Gay’s 2011-12 salary of $15,032,144 kicks in, it would exceed the Cavaliers’ $14,500,000 trade exception and thus make them unable to use it to get him. Perhaps the Cavaliers could have used Jamison’s expiring contract to get the job done, but the move would have sent the wrong message to Grizzlies fans, particularly after this playoff run.

They say never say never, but for now, I think Cavs fans can consider the Rudy Gay rumor officially dead. This one just isn’t happening.


Photo Credit: JD Meredith for Memphisport

  • MattyFos

    @ Mike Heisley

    1. I hate you
    2. RGay is overpaid.. HAHA!! We were trying to help you re-sign Gasol
    3. Can we have OJ Mayo and Darrell Arthur?

  • mgbode

    @MattyFos – i’m with you on Mayo+Arthur

    and, can’t we still use the TPE before July 1st for Rudy Gay when the new NBA year begins (or more accurately, when the NBA Lockout begins)

    I’m expecting a ton of player trades in the week they are allowed from the NBA Finals ending through June 30th since that will likely be the end of trading for awhile. That is going to be allowed, right?

  • mgbode

    @Heisley – good for you building that young corps. however, they won’t look nearly as good when you lose Battier, Mayo, Arthur and your depth because you overpaid each of your stars.

    maybe you had to in order to get them to stay in Memphis, but it’s going to be really tough to be a true title contender if you can’t figure out your depth.

  • DocZeus

    What if we ask nicely..

  • Andrew

    I’d be stunned if there were any trades before the CBA expires. Just too much uncertainty on what’s going to happen.

  • Roosevelt

    Yeah, well now that the team overachieved, it’s easy for him to be adamant. If they’d been knocked out in the first round like everyone predicted, they would have let Gay go in a flash.

  • ShaunP

    I swear none of you are Grizzlies Fans! Rudy Gay was so missed in these playoffs. Memphis with Rudy Gay is a much better fast break team. Their was many times we got steals and Conley would push but our wing players did not have correct angles running the court causing Conley to put up a lay-up that got blocked or causing a turnover! If Rudy Gay was in the line up we would have gotten at least fouls or Alley-hoop dunks which would have made the crowd louder causing a sixth man effect taken the other team out the game or leading them to calling more timeouts.
    Also, He would have been a great option to score on nights Zbo didn’t have it in him adding his 19.6 pts pre game (2nd best on Grizzlies team). It would have made it much harder to double Zbo with Rudy in the line up. Rudy gets to the rim with ease and how good Zbo passes out the double team would have made it that much harder on defenses. Other than just driving to the hole Rudy Gay is a good perimeter shooter. He can knock down the mid range shots, he was 39.6% from behind the arc (which no one can say we couldn’t have used help with in the playoffs), he can take anyone off the dribble (if you don’t believe it look at the buzzer beater he shot over Lebron who made NBA 1st team All Defense Team to win the game vs. the Heat). He was the player we leaned on in the clutch to take our last second shots as well. If he was on the court Gay would have caused match up problems as well. The other team would have put someone on him with the same height and athletic ability (Durant) which could have lead to the defender being in foul trouble. He has a great wing span for blocking shot and defending the passing lane which could have slowed up Westbrook. I watched ESPN today and an analysis said that “Durant , Westbrook and Rose grew so much last year from being on the USA team.” Well first thing that came to my mind was so did Rudy Gay. When someone is injured and not in the spotlight it is funny how human forget all they bring to the table. Rudy grew so much as well and if you don’t believe it just reread this paragraph to remind you what he brings to the Grizzlies Team. He really does so much that stats cant even show. I just remember watching the games saying only if Rudy Gay was in on that play!
    The problem is not Rudy Gay it is the NBA. They don’t show the Grizzlies enough so if you don’t watch the Grizzlies you really don’t get to appreciate the talent they have. Rudy Gay is essential if Grizzlies would like to win a Championship! If Grizzlies fans are ok with how far we got this year and would like to trade Rudy to pick up spare parts that is just dumb! We don’t need no spare parts we need Rudy “The other Grizz Superstar” Gay!!! I’m with Heisley with Rudy Gay we would have beat the Thunders!

    Here is a you tube clip incase you forgot what Rudy Gay brings to the table, or never get to watch the Grizzlies play (I know sometime words cant explain the whole situation).

    Now, please Drop it Rudy is here to stay!

    P.S. To all who said give them Arthur and Mayo they are signed to 2012-2013 so we have nothing to worry about the team is in tack. By 2013 we will already have drafted replacement (don’t forget our 1st round pick this year Xavier Henry in college shot 42% from behind the arc his freshman year and is 6’6” has 2 years to develop unto we need to replace OJ Mayo). We are sitting pretty why move pieces unless we get a deal that blows us away!

  • Lyon

    “I swear none of you are Grizzlies Fans!”

    @7… umm, there’s a reason we’re not Grizz fans, we’re in Cleveland.

    And I’m glad we’re not getting Gay. He’s an overpaid #2 player at best.

  • Cynic

    @8 …. ummm, there’s a reason alot of us come to this blog, we’re no longer in Cleveland.

    As a displaced Clevelander in TN who adopted the grizz this year while the cavs worked their lottery mojo, I can echo the sentiments of #7. Rudy Gay is one heck of a player and a key cog in the grizz machine. He’s way under appreciated and is “overpaid” the same way Varejao is “overpaid” … it’s not as cut and dried as national media types make it out to be. Need I remind you of windhorst’s insistence that he’s the one of the few guys in the league that really gives lebron trouble on the regular.

    Anyway, I’d agree with #5. I don’t think much of anything will go down based on how much uncertainty is looming with the CBA. If the cavs exception goes up in smoke, I wouldn’t consider it a big loss though … they’ll still need at least one more great draft to have the foundation for contending down the road.

  • ShaunP


    The reason I made the statement of None of yall are Grizzlies fans was to emphasis that you have no clue how special Rudy Gay really is. If that is the only thing you toke from my whole statement you are a horrible fan. Now it is making sense why Lebron left! lol

    I really don’t get were a lot of people keep saying that Rudy Gay is over paid. If Rudy was on another team he would easily avg 25 pts. per night. Memphis is a deep team and they share the ball around. Rudy doesn’t have to force shots like most players who avg over 25 a night because at least 4 other player can give you 20 every night (Zbo, Marc, Conley, Mayo) if needed.

    The only reason we are have this discussion is because Grizzlies never really come on TV. The only time everyone saw the Grizzlies was in the playoffs. You never got to experience how great Rudy Gay is. If he was in the playoffs everyone would be all over him. People are just Prisoner in the Moment.

    One thing I do find funny is that everyone keeps talking about we have to resign OJ Mayo and get rid of Rudy Gay. Well one way we can test who brings more to the table is Rudy Gay made the USA Team while OJ Mayo got cut from the team. You do the Math!