Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
When the Grizzlies made a minor trade the other day, the belief was that it was more about getting out of luxury tax territory ... and with that taken care of, the chances of Memphis trading Rudy Gay or Zach Randolph seemed to have diminished. Memphis CEO Jason Levien to media, "It's more likely than not that we do nothing (with core by the February 21 trade deadline). We really like our team." So that's it? Maybe.
Even after the trade with the Cavaliers, Peter Vecsey continued to tweet of the Nets interest and Friday, Ric Bucher added to the speculation when he said the Grizzlies are still interested in moving Gay, who is owed $54 million over the next three years (including this one.)
The recent Cavs-Grizzlies deal lessens the urgency for Memphis to move Rudy Gay but doesn't eliminate its desire to do so, a team executive interested in acquiring Gay said. Dealing Mo Speights, Josh Selby and Wayne Ellington for Jon Leuer clears $6 million off their payroll and puts them on the cusp, according to one GM, of not paying the $1 for $1 luxury tax. The Grizzlies are still interested in moving Gay, the first executive insisted, they simply can be more judicious about what they want in return and how long they'll wait -- possibly until this summer -- to strike a deal.
Bucher did not identify the executive or the team, but Peter Vecsey has written that the Nets are among those most interested, suggesting he is the Nets top target in the upcoming trade season. He too suggested on Thursday that Gay is still on the market but doesn't believe the Nets have the goods (although he had previously tweeted that the Nets could engage a third team to satisfy the Grizzlies)
In response to a Nets fan asking about the effect of the Cavs trade on such speculation, Vecsey tweeted Thursday night...
I believe Grizz now running keeper play. If Gay is still up 4 grabs, don't believe Nets have wherewithal to satisfy Memphis