Gay is averaging 17.6 points, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 5.8 rebounds per game this season for Memphis. Those numbers are close to his career averages, but the reports are that the Grizzlies are looking to deal him to shed salary.
That strategy makes Gay a likely candidate to be dealt before the Feb. 23 trade deadline. The 26-year-old forward is set to make over $16 million this season, over $17 million next year and has a player option for over $19 million in the 2014-2015 NBA season.
In that regard and in the sense of Charlotte needing a superstar, Gay being moved to the Bobcats makes sense. The Bobcats only have five players under contract for the 2014-2015 season and three of those are deals with a team-option. They are also a team with little-to-no star power, a role that Gay would help to fill.
The potential deal begins to fall through though, when you start to factor in where the trade would leave Charlotte’s roster.
Most likely, a deal to acquire Gay would have to include rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a player that Charlotte used the second-overall pick in this past year’s draft to select. MKG also has an abundance of potential and upside to accompany his great physical attributes and impressive athleticism.
Why the Bobcats would consider parting with Kidd-Gilchrist only 39 games into his young career is unknown. It’s understandable wanting to acquire a relatively high-profile player like Gay, but doing so at the expense of your team’s possibly bright future doesn’t seem worth it.
Even if Kidd-Gilchrist wasn’t eventually involved in the trade, the deal still seems rather questionable. With Gay coming to Charlotte in that scenario, the Bobcats would then have a quagmire of small forwards on their roster with MKG, Gay, Jeffery Taylor and Reggie Williams.
And if Williams or Taylor were sent away in a trade for Gay, it would still make little sense for the Bobcats. They would then have a plethora of talent in Kidd-Gilchrist and Gay that would be wasted as their similar styles somewhat dictate that the two of them are unable to coexist on the floor at the same time.
All of these scenarios leave Charlotte improved slightly, but still around the same place that they are now as a franchise.
Despite all of this, it appears like the Bobcats are still interested in trading for Gay. The deal is in no way a formality. But the fact that it’s even a possibility is troubling. There are still so many other players that the Bobcats could potentially look to trade for in the near future that would help their team exponentially more than Gay would.
If they are looking out for their own best interests, that should be the path that they choose to go down instead of looking to score Gay via trade.