Rudy Gay might be the big winner this summer

In his trade deadline rankings, Chad Ford discusses the Grizzlies’ quandary with Rudy Gay.

With so many teams getting under the cap, it almost guarantees that one of them will panic this summer and overpay for Rudy Gay. (The Knicks, Nets, Clippers and Wizards all like him.) Will Michael Heisley really pay the max for Gay? If not, chances are they lose him this summer.

Gay fits the profile of a non-max player who could very well get max money this summer. There are eight teams that currently have enough money to sign a max player and two of those teams (the Knicks and the Heat) that have enough cap space to sign two max free agents. So, this summer, there will be room for 10 max players, but looking at our list of the top potential free agents, there are only three players — LeBron, Wade and Bosh — that I’d offer a max contract. Granted, guys like Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer are likely to get huge long-term contracts, but still, that’s just six guys for 10 slots (not even counting teams like Cleveland and Toronto, who can re-sign LeBron and Bosh, respectively).

This means non-max players like Rudy Gay and David Lee will probably end up with bigger contracts than they deserve because the teams that miss out on LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, etc. will panic and overpay so that they aren’t stuck with a gaping hole heading into the 2010-11 season. Certain teams may hold onto their cap space for the following summer, but it depends on who is likely to be available and how poor of a season that team is prepared to have.

So if you’re a fan of the Nets, Clippers, Timberwolves, Kings and Wizards…or the Grizzlies…be prepared.

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NBA Rumors: Boozer, Gay, Monta and Rubio

Mavs interested in Boozer?

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of NBA teams that were — and perhaps still are — interested in acquiring trade-craving Carlos Boozer.

Boozer has also been rumored to be heading to New York as part of a sign-and-trade swap with David Lee.

Rudy Gay wants to stay in Memphis.

“I know what I can do on the basketball court,” Gay said. “Everything else will work itself out. I love Memphis. Memphis has been my home. This is where I want to be. I really believe this is where I can make big things happen for myself and the Grizzlies.

“I like what’s happened this summer. There was definitely a lot of thought put into this offseason with all the changes. I guess we’ll know more about what the changes mean when the season starts.”

GM Chris Wallace and Gay’s agent, Jeff Austin, haven’t gotten into specifics about what they believe to be Gay’s market value, and that’s where things usually get sticky. We’ll see if Gay’s goodwill continues as the extension negotiations continue.

Is Monta Ellis on the trading block? Yes, according to Warriors beat writer, Tim Kawakami.

Monta Ellis in Dallas? That I can see, if Dallas would send some short-term deals and if the Warriors would be happy taking a major talent hit just to dump Monta’s money.

For all the energy the Warriors have placed in telling us that Monta is their centerpiece and all the sweat issued to dispute my reports that he’s unhappy… well, I could very much see Don Nelson working hard to trade Ellis.

The Ellis-Golden State relationship has been heading south ever since Ellis’s moped accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors traded him, though I could say that about anyone on the roster, other than Anthony Randolph, who appears to be untouchable.

Did GM David Kahn use a second round pick to help fund Rubio’s buyout?

On draft night, Kahn used a second-round pick to select Henk Norel, a European prospect whose selection had at least one ESPN draft analyst puzzled.

Norel also plays for DKV Joventut.

Might Kahn offer Rubio’s Spanish team $500,000 to buy out Norel’s contract, too, invite him to training camp and thus, in essence, fund $1 million of the buyout that way?

Kahn is in Spain again, trying to free Ricky.

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