The Memphis Commercial reports
The Memphis Grizzlies and restricted free-agent Rudy Gay have agreed in principle on a five-year, $82 million contract, The Commercial Appeal has learned.
Gay’s starting salary will be the maximum allowed a player with his experience – projected to be roughly $13.3 million – according to sources.
Yahoo Sports adds
“We have a verbal agreement on a deal,” said Gay’s agent, Jeff Austin.
The fifth and final year of the contract will be at Gay’s option.
The Grizzlies had the right to match any offer made to Gay because he’s a restricted free agent. But by reaching agreement quickly, they prevented another suitor – like the New Jersey Nets – from front-loading a contract offer with a signing bonus that could have necessitated a first-year payment of $20 million.
Value For Money?
On current ability, Rudy Gay is a good scorer with mediocre defensive and rebounding ability. Worth around $8-9 million.
On future ability, potential, Rudy Gay can become a good to very good scorer and defender and mediocre rebounder. A perennial All-Star. Worth around $12-14 million.
The Grizzlies paid $82 million over five years, an average of $16.4 million. Hence, the Grizzlies overpaid by a couple of million per annum.
Will Rudy Gay fulfill his potential on the Grizzlies?
Emm, I think it’s doubtful.
I think their team lacks the top tier talent + defensive ability required for Gay to reach his maximum potential.
I think Gay needs a more defensive orientated environment to improve his defensive focus + effort to his full ability. And, I think the Grizzlies lack of top notch players will force Gay into a larger role than he is able to fill which will in turn hold him back. Namely his efficiency as a scorer.
So, I would expect Gay to become a good scorer + good defender + mediocre rebounder. Rather than a good-to-very good scorer and very good defender. I think that is the most likely (but not certain) outcome for Rudy Gay.
How much would that player be worth?
A good scorer (20ppg on 54% TS%), good defender and mediocre rebounder and a limited passer.
I would value a player with those characteristics at around $10-11 million which would have the Grizzlies overpaying Rudy Gay by an average of $5.4 to 6.4 million per annum.
In summary, this is very likely to become a bad contract for the Grizzlies.
Ideally, Rudy Gay is a third option offensively and the third best player on a team overall. Memphis is very unlikely to be able to place Gay in a role of that nature. Consequently, Memphis are unlikely to be successful during Rudy Gay era which means that there is a good chance that they trade him before he finishes this contract.