Memphis Grizzlies: Is a Rudy Gay reunion in the works?

Mar 2, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) talk during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated Sacramento Kings 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) talk during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated Sacramento Kings 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

Recently, former Grizzly Rudy Gay opted out of his player option to enter free agency. Could a reunion with the Memphis Grizzlies be in store?

In this year’s free agency, the Memphis Grizzlies could go in multiple directions. They could decide to run it back once again by re-signing everyone. They could ditch either Zach Randolph or Tony Allen then sign another player. Or, they let ZBo and TA walk to stray away from “Grit ‘n’ Grind.”

As these decisions loom, many wonder who the Grizzlies could add to their roster. With limited cap space, they’d have to make room by trading Brandan Wright’s $6M deal. In doing so, if they end up with enough cap space, could they bring back Rudy Gay?

The Sacramento swingman opted out of his player option to enter the free agency. After rupturing his achilles this past season, it’s impossible to pinpoint his market value. It’s hard to see him receiving more than the $14M he would’ve gotten this year with Sacramento. However, he won’t be super cheap either.

If he does fall into the Grizzlies’ price range, they need to pounce on him – even if it means not bringing back Zach Randolph and Tony Allen.

Why they should sign Rudy Gay


Throughout his 11-year career, Rudy Gay has proven that he could score with the best of them. For his career, he’s averaging 18.4 points a game.

Even with a ruptured achilles, he still has the tools to score the basketball. His 3-point shot is above average (37.2 percent last season). Aside from that, he’s also displayed a smooth mid-range game. Despite the diminished athleticism, his shot-making abilities are close to elite.

If he could bounce back and score around 12-15 points a game for the Grizzlies, that’ll go a long way for them in the postseason standings.

Clutch Factor

Rudy Gay has hit plenty of clutch shots over the years. In fact, as of February 26, 2016, he had the highest field goal percentage (17-for-38, 44.7 percent) in the last five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

Now imagine putting him in a clutch-time lineup with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Both players have shown an impeccable ability to get it done in crunch time.

They’ve just been missing a creator from the wing to help out in those times since … Rudy Gay.

He could be slotted anywhere

Because of his size and athleticism, the Memphis Grizzlies could put him just about anywhere, and he would succeed.

If JaMychal Green returns and Chandler Parsons is indeed back and healthy, they could have Rudy Gay in as the sixth man. In this scenario, Rudy becomes the number one option in this unit and would feast on reserve wings. In the process, he could receive strong consideration for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

If JaMychal Green doesn’t return, they could turn to Rudy as his replacement. A lineup of Conley-Ennis-Parsons-Gay-Gasol could wreck havoc on offense. Parsons, Ennis and Gay are all interchangeable wings who could switch onto anybody and guard positions 2-4. In addition, all five players are threats from beyond the arc.

In the event where Parsons isn’t healthy, Rudy has played with both Mike and Marc before. Therefore, they wouldn’t be losing much chemistry.

Chandler Parsons Insurance Plan

Chandler Parsons has bad knees. We all knew that. Even before the signing, everyone knew that his knees would be an issue. Last offseason, they failed to find a solid backup in the event where he broke down. Ironically, he didn’t pan out last season – particularly due to his knees. Luckily, Vince Carter dipped into the fountain of youth. Otherwise, they might’ve missed the playoffs.

This offseason, they need to find a backup plan in case their $94M man can’t make it again.

There’s no better fit on the market than Rudy Gay.

If healthy, he’s a top-10 small forward and a 20-point-per-game scorer in this league.

Even if Parsons is healthy, the Memphis Grizzlies have a striking advantage. Not many teams have two small forwards that are in the top-10 in their position – when healthy. In addition, both could switch over to the power forward spot and not fall into a size mismatch.

Next: Memphis Grizzlies: Offseason Priorities

Closing Remarks

Fans may love it or hate it. Many will be glad to have Rudy and his incredible dunks and clutch shots back. However, some don’t want a second round of the inconsistency he flashed in Memphis. No matter which way you fall, you can’t deny that adding Rudy Gay to the Grizzlies would make them a better team.

Until then, let’s continue speculating why Rudy Gay randomly posted a caption-less, throwback picture with Mike Conley last Wednesday: