A long time ago, I asked Stephen Curry: “Is there any player who you’d love to play with and love to have on the team? One particular guy?”

Stephen ignored the who’d/whom error and quickly said, “Rudy Gay,” as though the choice was obvious.

I asked, “Rudy Gay?” with a cadence that betrayed holy incredulity.

Curry responded: “Definitely. Leave it at that, Rudy Gay.”

He didn’t exactly leave it at that. There was somesuch about Don Nelson’s system and how Rudy would fit in. Again, it was a long time ago.

Now that the Warriors are reportedly inquiring after Gay, I wonder if there is a possible Curry connection. Gay does not seem like a natural fit for Golden State. They have a size deficiency at the 2, and difficulty defending down low. The Memphis small forward addresses neither concern, unless you plan on playing him or Wright against smaller, quicker competition.There is also the matter of Rudy Gay’s giant salary (He will be making 19.3 million in 2015). RG plays like a younger version of current “amnesty” poster boy Rashard Lewis. The irony is that Washington is unlikely to use the amnesty on Lewis, and perhaps that irony would be heightened if the Warriors amnesty a player in order to nab Rashard 2.0.Trading for Rudy Gay makes little sense–almost none, really.
Unless: This move could help keep Team USA teammate Stephen Curry in the Bay. Gay is friends with Curry and shares the same agent as Curry.In the background, Curry has openly, warmly, courted the possibility of playing in Charlotte, where his father calls Bobcats games. Stephen bought a new house in the Charlotte area, one that he plans to make his primary residence. While it seems bizarre to fret over losing your franchise centerpiece to the Bobcats, the Warriors may be in that strange, unenviable position. And while some small market owners tried mightily to curtail player movement in this new CBA, the climate of star departure has not abated. Yet another hypothetical irony: If small market owners’ failure to restrict player movement allowed a big market star to ditch his team for Charlotte.

A Gay-Ellis trade excises Curry’s rival playmaker while bringing a friend. It is a statement of loyalty and faith. The risky downsides would be a) If Curry leaves anyway or b) If Curry isn’t good enough to warrant such maneuvering. I personally believe that Curry is good enough to build around. If you buy that much, then that blurrs the question of, “How do you improve this team?” If a potential bad move keeps Curry in the Bay, is it a bad move?

3 Responses

  1. Ray

    Let’s say the Warriors and Grizz pull the trigger on the rumored Monta Ellis plus etc. for Rudy Gay deal: how does that not improve the Warriors substantially? Their starting five would then have Dorell Wright at the 2 and Gay at the 3, and while Wright would have a little trouble keeping faster, smaller 2’s in front of him, adding an athletic shot-blocker of Gay’s caliber to the mix would do wonders for their help D. (He’d be sort of like a free safety, as I see it.) And, they’d be a NIGHTMARE to deal with on the other end because of the size of their swingmen. Add a free-agent shot-blocking center to the mix, and suddenly this might be a VERY interesting team.

    • joshua citrak

      @ray um, because dwright cannot play the 2. period. dwright is essentially a specialist. he’s a got spot up shooter. all his other skills, are average at best (defense probably being his next strongest). dwright cannot handle the ball, cannot create his own shot, cannot run the offense — all things a 2 MUST be able to do. no need to even get into how gay impacts the situation, a giant hole at the most talent laden position in the NBA would be enough to make the W’s worse.