Dec. 12, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) and Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley (3) at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 82-80. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Could Rudy Gay Be On His Way To The Phoenix Suns?

According to a report by Yahoo Sports, the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies are currently engaged in trade discussions involving Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay.

A number of teams have shown interest in acquiring the services of Gay, but it appears the Suns have peaked the Grizzlies interest, sources have said.

Memphis currently sit fourth in the Western Conference with a record of 22-10. That hasn’t stopped the team from shopping their leading scorer though.

On the season, Gay is averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game. His shooting has been a major issue all year as he is only hitting 40.6% of his shot attempts from the field.

His contract is also a major burden. Rudy will make $16.4 million this season, $17.8 million in 2013-14 and a little over $19 million in 2014-15. That explains why Grizzlies management is so willing to give up on Gay. It’s because they overpaid for him in the first place.

Besides, the teams greatest playoff run (2010-11) came with Gay on the sidelines nursing an injury. They don’t necessarily need him to be successful. It’s been proven.

For Phoenix (12-24, 1.5 games out of last place in the Western Conference), a deal with Memphis makes sense. The Suns are lacking a true franchise player at the moment. At just 26 years of age, Rudy can step right in and be “the guy” for the foreseeable future. He’s a proven scorer who has tremendous athleticism and an excellent basketball IQ.

Gay is having (arguably) one of his worst years as a professional and his contract is definitely a killer, but with Phoenix struggling as much as they are, how much worse can things really get at this point?

Although, do the Suns have anything of value that Memphis would realistically want?

Well, according to the report, the Grizzlies are very interested in Phoenix forward Jared Dudley. Through 36 games, Jared is averaging 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He’s also shooting 38.2% from behind the arc.

The Suns are also in possession of the Los Angeles Lakers first-round draft picks in 2013 and 2015. With the way that team is playing as of late, those picks could prove to be very valuable.

It would be extremely difficult to give up one or both of those picks in a potential deal, but looking at some of the talent this franchise has selected in recent years (Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, Earl Clark), it might be for the best.

Whether it’s the Phoenix Suns or another team entirely, it looks more and more likely that Rudy Gay will be on his way out of town before the February 21st deadline.

IF the right deal presents itself, that is.

Chris Walder is the Lead Editor for Sir Charles In Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports.

Tags: Jared Dudley Memphis Grizzlies Phoenix Suns Rudy Gay

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