While Memphis, currently in fourth place in the West with a 22-10 record, has gotten off to a solid start, concerns about Rudy Gay's salary and fit with the team have made him one of the biggest names in the NBA's rumor mill over the last few weeks.
The Grizzlies, with a new ownership group and front office team in place, have reportedly been shopping Gay to various teams around the league. On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports broke a story with details of a possible trade proposal that would send Gay to Phoenix for a package featuring Jared Dudley and several first-round picks.
Dudley, a sixth-year small forward out of Boston College, isn't nearly as talented as Gay, but such a deal might still be attractive to the Grizzlies for two reasons. Dudley, a career 40.5% shooter from beyond the arc, would give them much better floor spacing around Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol than Gay. He is also much cheaper, as he's owed only $17 million over the next four seasons.
Gay, in comparison, is making $16.5 million this season, a number which puts a small-market Memphis team over the dreaded luxury tax line. But while he would give Phoenix a talented young player to build around, it's unclear whether they would be willing to absorb that much salary in a potential trade.