Grizzlies Owner: No Plans To Move Rudy Gay

June 8 2012 at 12:01pm CDT By Luke Adams

Recent reports have suggested the Grizzlies are open to shopping Rudy Gay, perhaps for a lottery pick, but owner Michael Heisley insists that's not the case.

"We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay," Heisley told Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "We’re not shopping him around. Period. Do we sit around and say ‘What if we traded Rudy, who could we get?’ No. Right now, Rudy is part of the future of this team."

Heisley acknowledged that teams had called to inquire about Gay's availability, and said GM Chris Wallace would be open-minded about everyone on the roster. However, he denied that the team would look to cut salary by moving the 25-year-old's contract, and said it would take a star player clearly better than Gay for Memphis to consider a move.

"Our plan was always to protect the core," the Grizzlies owner said. "If we ever decide to do something it won’t be because of salary. We’re going to build a team around this core group. We understand Rudy’s salary. We understood it when we gave it to him. We’re not looking to cut salary. We’re looking to try and win a championship."

Heisley has said in the past that he doesn't want Memphis to be a luxury-tax team, and the Grizzlies already have over $62MM committed to salaries next season. If Memphis hopes to keep restricted free agents like O.J. Mayo, Darrell Arthur, and Marreese Speights and avoid passing the tax threshold, it may be necessary to either move Gay or find another way to cut costs.

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