Rudy Gay to Hit Free Agency

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009

It looks more and more like Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay will be hitting free agency next summer. There’s only a couple more hours till the midnight deadline for an extension and the two sides have ceased negotiations. That means the forward will become a restricted free agent this summer.

“We’ve agreed to not agree,” Gay’s agent Jeff Austin said. “It will not happen. We looked at different ways we might try to get something done and we weren’t able to agree.”

Austin even says the two sides weren’t even close to an extension, “We never agreed on a deal so obviously we weren’t close.”

Personally, i already felt the 2009-2010 season was going to be big for the development of the 23-year old Gay. But with free agency the season becomes even larger.

After three full seasons, Gay has shown he has the talent to be a major player in this league. His career numbers stand at 16.7 points a game, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He’s been pretty much around those numbers throughout each of the first three season, to break into the next tier of players this would be the season he’d have to do it.

With free agency looming, I’m sure he’ll attempt to make himself even more of a focal point of the offense. He averaged 16 shots a game last season, that may not rise with a player like Allen Iverson on the team but I’m sure he’ll be looking to get himself into better scoring situations.


Back to his contract thou, Austin says the two sides weren’t close to a deal. So where are the numbers? No one is really sure, there have been rumors of a deal in the $50-60 million range over 5 seasons. Those make sense with past deals and the production you’ll get on a nightly basis from Gay. His agent thou says, “A lot of numbers I’ve read I’m trying to figure out where they come from.”

Those numbers make a lot of sense, so that quote leads me to believe that Austin is trying to work out a higher deal. OR the Grizzlies are just being their stingy selves and will wait till the offseason and see how the market plays out. For a team that only won 24 games last season, I can understand that.

Without an extension the Grizzlies will get a chance to see what they have in Gay. They’ll be times where he tries to assert himself more in an effort to show he can carry the load. They’ll be days where the pressures of playing for a contract gets to him mentally, so they’ll see what pressure the kid can handle.

2009-2010 will be the year we see what kind of player Gay will be. Will he step up to the plate?

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