NBA Report: Grizzlies cool Gay talks
There was a time, and not long ago, that the Memphis Grizzlies seemed determined to trade talented small forward Rudy Gay.
But that time, according to league sources, has passed.
The Grizzlies like Gay, his 18 points per game and winning attitude. What they don’t like is the huge tax penalty that will result from his huge contract this summer.
So the Grizzlies made some calls, found out what other teams might want for Gay, and apparently have given up. At least, it appears they have for now.
“It is true that Griz brass has spoken to every team in the NBA about their roster over the past month,” reported the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
Now, the Grizzlies seem ready to march forward with what they have, revisit things at the trading deadline in late February, or even more likely, over the summer.
“They won’t get anything close to what they want (for Gay) if they wait until they’re desperate,” said one source. “Then again, they’re not getting what they want now, and they’re winning. I’d wait until the season played out if I were them. Eventually, someone will be happy to have a player like him.”
The Commercial-Appeal and Washington Post reported that the Grizzlies had discussions with Washington about a potential package that involved Gay and Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal.
However, the Commercial-Appeal added, “None of the potential deals has merit because they aren't believed to be strong enough to keep the Griz on their current pace.”
The Grizzlies are 24-11 and hold the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Gay, 26, is averaging 17.8 points and 5.7 rebounds, but shooting a career-low 41 percent from the field. Still, he is highly valued across the league.
"He can get to a sweet spot on floor and elevate, and he has a high-release point on his shot,” Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace told FOX Sports Ohio earlier this season. “When things aren’t going well, we can get him the ball and just sort of let him go.”
• Also dying down recently: Trade talk involving Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Much like the Grizzlies did with Gay, the Kings merely held exploratory conversations involving Cousins. It looks as if Cousins will remain in Sacramento at least until the impending sale of the team is finalized.
• Former NBA coach Eric Musselman could become a candidate for the USC job, which opened Monday when Kevin O’Neill was fired. Musselman coached the LA D-Fenders to the best record in D-League history last season (38-12). He is currently an assistant under Herb Sendek at surprising Arizona State.
• As an interesting aside, Musselman’s late father, Bill, introduced a flashy pregame warmup routine as the coach at Ashland (Ohio) University way back in the 1960s. Eric Musselman very well could take that routine with him wherever he goes next. For more on that routine, and the origins of it, check out my story from March 2011 on FOXSportsOhio.com.
• FOX Sports Florida reported Denver is attempting to trade center Timofey Mozgov. The website speculated defending champion Miami may be interested. Mozgov’s contract expires at season’s end, and with him not playing much behind Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee, the Nuggets likely won’t have a problem trading him.
• Despite Boston’s five-game winning streak, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is said to still be looking for the right deal. The Celtics have two roster spots available. “I think over the next five weeks a lot will be told,” Ainge told the Boston Globe. “We just need to keep flexibility in case something does happen.”
• A fan website devoted to keeping the Kings in Sacramento launched Monday morning. Visit it at herewebuy.org.