It makes a world of sense that the Wizards would have interest in Memphis small forward Rudy Gay, particularly if the Grizzlies are dangling him to teams around the NBA. But that doesn’t mean that there are legs to a potential deal that would send Gay to Washington. In fact, the Memphis Commerical Appeal said Gay isn’t likely to move.
The reasons why he would be attractive to the Wizards are simple. He’s a gifted, near all-star who plays on the wing. The Wizards, who have a stopper in Trevor Ariza and an improving scorer in Martell Webster, could use that in their arsenal.
Gay is also from Baltimore. The Wizards are essentially his hometown team, not that it ever made a difference to Kevin Durant.
Under new ownership and management, the Grizzlies have reached out and introduced themselves to everyone in the league.
But a conversation does not make a trade discussion – though that depends on the point of view.
The biggest problem for Washington is that making a trade with Memphis is exceedingly difficult when Gay is earning $16.4 million this season. The Wizards don’t have anywhere near the salary to match, except if it came from players the Grizzlies wouldn’t want in the first place.
One player Memphis might consider is Bradley Beal. As recently as just before Christmas, Beal hadn’t found his groove. He has since. He looked remarkably solid in the backcourt with John Wall against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Even if the Wizards were considering trading Beal back when he was struggling – a reminder: he’s 19 years old – that would say something about how they felt about their own team while flying in the face of their own draft and overall team strategy. Maybe that wouldn’t be surprising, given their track record. Given Beal’s break out January, it’s unlikely they think that way anymore, if they ever did in the first place.
Also, it’s worth thinking about what the Grizzlies would likely hope to get in return. See what Oklahoma City pulled in for James Harden – Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick – and that’s the market standard. Yet, every team that participated in a deal would hope to be perceived as a winner. That would be hard for the Wizards to do if they gave up the No. 3 overall pick after less than half a season. It would be hard for the Grizzlies when they’re the ones who seemingly have made Gay available.
That’s why it’ll be hard for them to deal Gay to anyone at all, much less the Wizards.