Rudy Gay Talks Grizzlies’ Exit, Raptors’ Future

February 20 2013 at 8:38am CDT By Luke Adams

Before the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to the Raptors last month, one avenue they explored was a deal with the Nuggets, according to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. Tomasson tweets that Denver turned down an offer that would have involved sending Danilo Gallinari to Memphis in a deal for Gay. All parties involved seem happy with the way things eventually turned out, and Sam Amick of USA Today spoke to Gay about the forward's exit from Memphis and the deal that sent him to Toronto. Here are the highlights from the conversation:

On telling a Toronto radio station that he missed "nothing" about Memphis:

"Obviously that was just out of a little bit of anger. There were a lot of people in Memphis and a lot of relationships I left in Memphis that I'll always have. I'm so thankful for the city doing what they've done for me up until now."

On whether he saw the trade coming:

"It was a total shock to me. I never went to any of (the new management) and told them that I wanted to be traded. I've never done that. The summer before, I did. I said this team has a chance to be a competitor in the West, and we're going to be good, but if you plan on doing anything – this is the summer before – I said I want to express to you that I may be wanting to move on."

On why he expressed an openness to a trade last summer:

"It was a post-dominated team, and I didn't get a chance to have a guy who you could say was a stone-cold guy who you went to all the time. A couple games it'd be Marc [Gasol], then it'd be me, and then it'd be Zach [Randolph], you know what I mean? So at that point, I was like, 'I want to see what I can do with an open floor.' And I got that (in Toronto), but as long as we were winning, I'd like to see myself as a great teammate. And as long as we're winning, I'll do whatever, just be on the perimeter and open the floor for the big fellas, then that's what I'll do."

On staying in Toronto long-term:

"I've played six games. I don't know about (re-signing), but I love the organization. I possibly could be here for the rest of my career, but who knows."

On the Raptors' outlook:

"I'm excited about this team — excited about the possibilities of how good we can be. It was kind of a mixture of feelings when it first happened, getting traded and not knowing anything and one day thinking you're competing for a championship and the next day you're getting shipped off somewhere. It was a mixture of feelings… and now I've just got to embrace where I'm at. I'm happy I'm a Raptor right now…. I want to see this team be a good team, to be a playoff team again."

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