If any team was going to end up with the No. 2 pick in this draft, you could’ve almost predicted it would be Charlotte. Their string of bad luck doesn’t look like it’ll be ending anytime soon. For all of the praise this month’s draft received over the past year, it’s obvious that outside of Anthony Davis, the rest of the first round is a crapshoot. At No. 2, the Bobcats could draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson or Andre Drummond and yet, five years from now the value of the No. 10 pick could be exactly the same. Depth is not a problem here. Star power is. That second pick is really when the draft starts.
There are rumblings rising from every corner hinting that Charlotte is ready to deal that pick. Michael Jordan and the rest of the front office are tired of being scoffed at, and want to bring in some actual talent. So who’s available? Well, besides going after a few mediocre free agents, FoxSportsOhio is reporting the Bobcats and Memphis – you know, the team that is absolutely strapped for cash – have talked about a deal involving that second pick and Rudy Gay. While there’s just been talk, FoxSportsOhio writes:
“It seems the rumors about Gay (being on the trading block) are true,” one source said. “And the Bobcats are one team that could take on his salary. But a trade would be complicated.”
Gay is still owed nearly $54 million dollars over the next three seasons. It’s a big price to pay for a player who still has never made an All-Star Team. But while he’ll probably be overpaid no matter what he does, Gay did average 19 points and 6.4 rebounds a game last year on one of the league’s deepest teams. He also built a reputation over the last two or three seasons as one of the game’s most clutch players. Need a bucket? The 6-8 Gay has enough in his game to get basically any shot he wants.
If he were to move to Charlotte, I’m convinced he’d put up All-Star numbers (I’m thinking 22 and seven). But by himself, he doesn’t change anything. That’s still an awful team with no chance at the second season.
With over $62 million already guaranteed for next year, this move would give the Grizzlies some relief from underneath their money train while also netting what should be a solid player in return. Their production never quite matched their talent level last season, and it wasn’t that hard to see why. Besides dealing with some injuries, Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol all needed the ball (not to mention a slowly-emerging Mike Conley), and there just weren’t enough cookies to go around.
Gay is definitely available, and the Bobcats aren’t the only team talking about a deal for him. But with the No. 2 pick in a deep draft, they’d have an interesting appeal. Advanced statisticians may not always love Gay’s game, and fans might hate that contract, but if he were traded to Charlotte, at least he’d put up All-Star numbers. Is that enough to sacrifice cap space and the No. 2 pick? We’ll see.
Would you make this deal?
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