Bucher: Monta Ellis-Rudy Gay trade possible

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From ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher:

Mentioned on SC a Monta Ellis + asset for Rudy Gay deal. Came from GS side. If Mem considered – big if – it would be for financial reasons.

Ellis is owed $11 million a year through the 2013/14 season, while Gay’s contract size will increase until he is owed $19 million in the 2014/15 season. Gay was injured for Memphis’ playoff run, which makes him look a bit less important to the team than he did before he got hurt last season, but this would still be a significant on-court downgrade for the Grizzlies.

Ellis is a volume shooter who can fill it up in the blink of an eye, and the Grizzlies did reportedly offer O.J. Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet for Ellis at the 2009/10 trade deadline, but Gay is a better outside shooter, a more efficient scorer, significantly larger than Ellis, and a much better defender than Monta, who may well be the worst perimeter defender in the NBA. If the “asset” the Warriors are willing to throw in is something like a first-round pick or Memphis truly thinks it is in dire straights financially, this could happen, but from a pure basketball perspective, this would make very little sense for the Grizzlies.