It’s still not likely that the Memphis Grizzlies are going to trade Rudy Gay before the trade deadline, but don’t confuse that with totally DOA when other teams call.
Multiple reports have said the Grizzlies phones are still ringing and they are still answering, even after a three-for-one bench player swap that eased their short-term tax concerns.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to field calls from teams interested in Rudy Gay and are engaged in active trade discussions with the Toronto Raptors, sources with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com. Although the framework of a workable trade has not yet been established, sources told ESPN.com that Toronto — known to be perhaps Gay’s most determined suitor — has continued to make a hard push for the swingman.
The Grizzlies, though, maintain that last week’s luxury-tax-slashing trade with Cleveland means they no longer feel the same pressure to move Gay or another high-priced player before the NBA’s Feb. 21 trade deadline.
The Raptors have Kyle Lowry, Jose Calderon (although they prefer to move Lowry who doesn’t fit their style), Andrea Bargnani (if anyone wants him) and some other players.
It’s hard to see a two-team deal that really is a win for both teams here, so they may talk about bringing in a third team. But then deals get really hard to pull off and are far less likely.
Which is to say, don’t bet on it happening.
By the way, if you’re thinking about a Boston deal with Paul Pierce for Gay, Stein says don’t put your money there either.
But making a trade for Gay would require Boston to part with Paul Pierce — a step that Celtics management may not be ready to take, especially since Gay has two years left on his contract valued at more than $35 million.
Sources say that the Grizzlies, meanwhile, know Pierce would likely have strong reservations about leaving Boston for Memphis and aren’t sure he could address the various priorities they’ve identified as musts in a Gay trade, such as adding depth and youth to the roster as well as balancing out a top-heavy payroll.