Rumors have circled in recent days of a possible trade between the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies for small forward Rudy Gay, with NBA analyst Ric Bucher reporting “The Wizards have made a ‘good’ offer for Gay.”

Though John Wall has returned from a knee injury, the Wizards still lack explosive talent in the front court with the oft-injured Nene, well, but often injured. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies owe Gay $18 million over the next few seasons and are looking to dump an overpriced salary. Though desperate for talent, should the Wizards make a play for the expensive Gay? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.

Green: The Wizards are in the middle of a youth movement so adding the overpriced 26-year-old doesn’t really appease me. If Gay were the performer that he’s paid to be, it would be a little different, but the underachieving Gay has never lived up to expectations since being drafted. Washington has had its fair share of underperforming and overpaid players, and I really don’t want another one here in the District.

Riley: For a team short on talent it’s safe to say that beggars can’t be choosers. If Memphis is willing to unload that type of talent, then Washington should jump all over it. You never know what type of player Gay could become if he’s running the break with Wall and Beal. Washington would immediately change its colors with high-paced athletic trio. Add in the fact that the Wizards are likely to earn top-5 pick next year, and I’m in on a trade for Gay.

Green: Acquiring Gay would likely mean trading away a slew of players, primarily Jordan Crawford, who I’m high on. I can’t see why Washington can’t add a similar talent in next year’s draft and still keep young prospects such as Crawford or Kevin Seraphin. Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor’s deals come off the books in another season, so the cap space would be cleared for Washington to get a big time talent in the free agent pool at that time. They don’t have to pay the bounty for a forward whose averaged just 20 points one time in his seven-year career.

Riley: You don’t have average 20 points to be an All-Star talent. Gay’s an athlete, a scorer and a capable defender, everything Washington needs as they slowly reassemble their team. A 6-foot, 8-inch wing player who can play close to three positions between shooting guard and power forward? Sign me up.

Green: You’re also signing yourself up for a guy who has a history of not finishing seasons. He hasn’t played a full slate since the 2009-2010 season, when he played in 81 games. He’s played 153 games over the last three seasons, and considering that an NBA schedule is 82 games, that’s pretty weak. So not only is he overpaid, but he’s injury prone. Don’t let the bigger name fool you Riley, this would be another in a long line of Wizards mistakes if Washington goes after this deal.

Riley: What do they have to lose? Gay only has two years left on his deal, so why not? If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out, but Wizards fans need to see the team at least trying to get better—and adding a talent like Gay shows just that. The team is 6-28, Green, they need to go all in on whatever deal they can.


Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley

AFRO Sports Desk