Let’s Get (Rudy) Gay!

I think I’ve had another one of those ‘It’s May but the Tigers need to make a deal for Omar Infante’ visions.

However, I don’t feel AS strongly on this idea for consideration. And that’s what it is. It’s not a suggestion, just an idea to be picked apart by those who are far more wired in to the economic minutiae of the NBA.

The genesis of the idea came from watching NBA Shootaround last night when Bill Simmons (who’s IMO has been brilliant on the show) suggested that Rudy Gay is a guy who Memphis may want to rid themselves of at some point.

Hmmmmm. Now when I think of Gay, I don’t think sure-fire, butts-in-seats,unguardable All Star, but it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Pistons to lure one of those types of players to the Motor City. They’ll have to draft that player (it should or could be Monroe), or make a shrewd trade, and then hope they can keep that player around.

But with Gay, it’s at very the least intriguing to consider a genuine 20 points per night threat on the wing, paired with Monroe and Drummond in the front court. I’ll take any Pistons optimism after this harrowing start so far.

Again, this is not me suggesting if Dumars didn’t do this deal, I’d think he were totally inept. I, myself have doubts about the Pistons potentially chasing Gay, or really anyone at this point the process.

First, less than ten games in the season, the Pistons (nor the 1 win Lakers), should be pursuing franchise changing deals. The same for Memphis. The markets need to develop. If the Grizzlies think their current core of Gay, Conley, Randolp and Gasol can keep the team in the West’s top four, salary cap issues be damned, you keep that foursome intact, and aptly add to it if you can.

If Memphis thinks it’s falling to the back end of the playoff pack, then, maybe they consider changing some parts and alleviating some cap concerns. Here’s a snapshot of their salaries.

Let’s assume Memphis has interest in my little brain child. Because of the way the economics work in the NBA, the whole matching money thing, swinging deals can be difficult. And as I’ve mentioned on the show, if you miss, you’re almost forced to wait out your mistake, or make ANOTHER deal, one where you risk compounding your original gaffe. Then you become Divine Comedy at the back of the playoffs, or the back of the lottery. Two places few desire to be.

Oh, but you say Memphis wants cap relief.

The Pistons ship out Corey Maggette and his expiring contract. So that’s ten million the Grizzlies shed next summer. To get Gay, another player would need to be included. Things get a little cloudy here. Why would they want anyone that the Pistons would want to give them? Where are they going, how are they proceeding Post-Gay? Would they take Prince, who isn’t ridicuously overpaid, but no longer a starter on a quality team? How about Stuckey, who perhaps they think could flourish with a fresh start? Both players with Maggette would satisfy the NBA Trade Machine. Real life GMs are another story.

Because you’re asking, yes, you can send them Villanueva too. But keep in mind, traded players cannot be amnestied by the acquiring teams. Memphis would have to wait out Villanueva’s dreaded PLAYER OPTION.

Next concern. I’ve said be patttttttienttttttt and just waittttttttt. Don’t let the upcoming financial flexibility ruin what could be a legitimately successful rebuild for the Pistons making them a top four team in the East for the middle and end of the decade. Mom always said, don’t let the money burn a hole in your pocket.

But, as I mentioned earlier, just because you’ve got the cash to offer doesn’t mean any premium free agents are interested in coming to Detroit. Josh Smith is the only ’13 free agent I could see Detroit having a realistic shot at. They can, and may want to just sit on that cash next summer anyway. 

To improve, the Pistons are likely going to have to mimic how the Grizzlies and Pacers have constructed themselves. Some draft, some trades, some free agency, some luck.

Luck? As in maybe Lebron will opt out of Miami in ’14 and come to Detroit. I said luck, not acts of the entity you believe in for faith. Besides, the internet says he’s destined to be a Laker.

Lastly on Gay, this season may be too soon to acquire him because he could choose to leave in the summer of ’15, thus disrupting the rebuild that was almost complete. See, I told you this was really complicated.

Finally, you can just act like my mom and tell me to calm the heck down and take my own advice on patience. Just wait for the summer of ’14 and time things so that all present moves forward are creating a Pistons ‘return’ to the NBA elite for the ’14-’15 season.

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