The SBN Memphis Grizzlies blog Straight outta Vancouver lead TLorenzo posed a question today to the other SBN NBA bloggers -- "...send me an offer, any offer, for Rudy Gay...". Well, we're giving him a number of potential trades offers that he's going to work on for a post over there. I can't wait to see what he does with it. Grizz fans are already making their requests here. I honestly don't think the Utah Jazz would trade for Rudy Gay. He's not the best starting wing out there, but he's not the worst either. I'm not the best armchair GM (clearly), and never go into the trade machine thingy at ESPN so . . take this with a grain of salt:
I think, if the Jazz wanted, they could easily trade for Rudy Gay. What the Jazz would want to give up may be exactly the opposite of what the Memphis Grizzlies would ask for though. That said, I proposed a trade that got him in a Jazz uniform. For that trade -- and a deeper analysis on why I wouldn't do it . . . see you after the jump.
I'm not an arm chair GM, and if I'm going to do the work for a trade I'm going to try to find a reasonable trade. I don't expect the Jazz to swindle anyone. I'm also not just going to look at MY team and their needs, but also see what the other team has already. As a result, this deal for Gay isn't that great. I accept that. But also recognize that I don't think the Jazz want him, and frankly, neither do I.
I also don't want this site to deviate into a purely "make up impossible trades" website right now. We should hold off on that until the free agency period at least
The proposed trade:
Again, this was only because I was asked to make one . . .
This is a crappy trade as we get rid of three expiring deals (and our cap flexibility) for a guy who makes more than the total GNP of Bhutan, and a 3rd string PG who has a 19.3 AST% and a 27.1 Turn over %. For the record, I would add some draft picks coming our way too for this trade to make the money more even. I was unable to trade draft picks from this site, I should have tried RealGM.com first . . . oh well.
This is a bad money move for the Jazz on first blush. Paul, Raja, and Earl are all expiring contracts at the end of the 2012-13 season. They are off the books. How much comes off the books? $14 million. On the other end, Selby - a scrub's scrub - will make $0.8 million next year. Rudy? $16.5 million . . . yikes. And his deal is for another two years: $17.9 in 2013-14, and $19.3 in 2014-15 -- with an opt out clause (players option) in that last year.
|Player and their 2012-2013 Salary|
|Paul Millsap||$8,603,633||.||Rudy Gay||$16,460,538|
|Raja Bell||$3,480,000||.||Josh Selby||$762,195|
That said, that doesn't mean we're married to Rudy. Also, it also doesn't mean that the Jazz would be able to get a big time player like Rudy to join the team with the $14 million they'd get from letting Sap, Earl, and Raja walk. Yes, the money is crazy - but would the Jazz really have been able to get a potential All-Star to come to the Jazz on the free agency market? That $3 million extra can be seen as an 'anti-Josh Howard' tax as well. Sorry Josh, we have a real three now, and we have no money to pay you either. Buh-bye.
Why would Utah do this?
Well, for one, it makes up our mind on what we're doing inside. The Jazz get rid of their shortest 'big', and trade him for a legit athletic three who can drive, get to the line, and has shown the ability to hit the three. (Last season Rudy shot 31.2% from deep, but year before he made 39.6% -- has a career mark of 34.7%, which is higher than Paul's) We swap out Sap who was being forced into playing the three for a guy who is a full-time three. And Gay can play against all other threes (not just the bigger, slower ones). And Gay is also taller than Paul, and younger too. Mostly though, it's the addition by subtraction move of getting rid of Earl Watson (who complained about playing time) and Raja Bell (who also complained about playing time).
That means with this single trade our depth chart now looks like this:
- PG: Devin Harris, Jamaal Tinsley, Josh Selby
- SG: Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks
- SF: Rudy Gay, DeMarre Carroll
- PF: Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter
- C: Al Jefferson
That would be with 3 spots to fill still, and a few coming from draft picks (at least), and with some cap space too. Add in a few smart KOC additions via the draft and some returning players (Jeremy Evans for $1 million plus, and super low market value, buyers market C.J. Miles for the horrible contract year) -- and you have an interesting team that has a better talent distribution. Oh, also this group has playing time space for Ante Tomic now too. Remember, that 7'1 Gasol-ish Euro center?
This isn't the best possible trade the Jazz could make, but we get a LOT more athletic, and move two older, crankier guards and make more implicit playing time for our bigs. Period.
Why would Memphis do this?
Well, because Rudy's contract is Rudiculous. Sure, they don't also trade that contract and ALSO get back the best player in the trade. There's a give and take here, guys. They get playoff tested veterans. Earl is a great team mate and I value him highly as a basketball player. Raja is a good interviewee. Paul Millsap clearly comes off the bench in Memphis, which may be the best use of his talents. He automatically becomes a big target for receiving passes on the second unit. Memphis does have to give up some draft picks too, but hey, they are in a win now mode. They absolutely have to be as Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley's contracts all run out in either 14-15 or 15-16. With this core they have a very specific window.
Some of the reasons why this is crap:
Memphis, if they are in win now, probably don't want dead weight. Raja is dead weight. Millsap is a very good player, but I think some Grizzly fans would want more for Gay than just Sap. I think fans have a way of over-valuing their own players. Maybe I'm guilty of that here. Also, we have some very attractive younger guys that Memphis would love to have. They'd almost certainly demand one of them in return.
For some of the Jazz fans it would make a lot more sense to move Big Al (who makes nearly as much as Gay) while keeping fan favorite, and career Jazz player Millsap on board. I don't know if Al's contract is movable though. That said, he's already been moved once on this contract, so I guess it is possible again. However, Memphis wouldn't WANT him as they already have Z-Bo, Gasol, and Speights on the team. Darrell Arthur can also come back. They'd appreciate Sap's versatility more than Big Al's plodding, I'd think. I don't know. I'm not them. Also the Jazz fans would probably hate losing our cap space (and the potential to get a great player with it, maybe even a player as good as Gay or better!) for one guy who is making way too much money.
[EDIT: Amar's note -- I forgot this part!
The main obstacle would be that this move is both a) proactive, and b) would require our team to step up and make a tough decision. The Jazz had to make room for Stockton and Malone by getting rid of Rickey Green and Adrian Dantley. While this Front Office did move Deron Williams quickly and without much fuss or warning - I don't expect the front office to similarly move quickly to make room inside for our potential filled front court. If I'm wrong I'll own up to it though. But that's my opinion.]