Grizzlies owner: “We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay”

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There have been more Rudy Gay trade rumors floating around than Charlie Sheen rumors.

Gay is in the middle of a max deal that will pay him $16.5 million next season and while he is a good player he is not worth that much. The Grizzlies are already paying Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol big bucks and they are going to have to pony up for O.J. Mayo if they want to keep him. So, moving Gay becomes a hot rumor and finding trades for him a favorite past time of Grizzlies fans.

But don’t bother, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay,” Heisley said. “We’re not shopping him around. Period. Do we sit around and say ‘What if we traded Rudy, who could we get?’ No. Right now, Rudy is part of the future of this team….

“Our plan was always to protect the core. I’ve the core for four years,” Heisley said. “If we ever decide to do something it won’t be because of salary. We’re going to build a team around this core group. We understand Rudy’s salary. We understood it when we gave it to him. We’re not looking to cut salary. We’re looking to try and win a championship.”

Now, if I were shopping Rudy Gay, this is exactly what I’d say to the press. But I tend to believe Heisley when he says he is not looking to break up the core.

That does not mean Gay is safe — if someone comes to Memphis with a deal too good to pass then he will be traded. But if you play the semantics game that is not shopping him.

The challenge for Memphis is they are a good young team in the West, but the Thunder are younger and better. Then there is the up-and-coming Clippers who may already be better, and Memphis doesn’t have a lot of cap room to just add players. Let’s just say the road to that title is not an easy one from Memphis.