Marlon Morgan wrote a good article on Rudy Gay today, titled "Grizzlies' Gay on cusp of stardom". He talks about the strides Rudy has made in maturing as a player and pays specific attention to his versatility, which is one of the most intriguing aspects of his supreme potential.
''Right now, he's the only player we have that would swing between perimeter and post positions. That's the biggest swing there is. Three and four is a big learning curve, and he's handled it well.''
Gay said he doesn't have a problem playing either position, just as long as he's playing. Through the Grizzlies' first five preseason games, the 21-year-old has looked good in both roles.
Against fours, Gay said he tries to utilize his speed and quickness. Against threes, and sometimes twos, he turns to his size as an advantage.
''It's good for me to show coach I can do different things, and it'll help me grow as a player and get more experience,'' Gay said.
Good to see that Rudy is committed to growing as a player -- that gives me hope for his future...and the future of the Grizzlies.
Chip pointed out this post by David Friedman on 20 Second Timeout, where he explains why his expectations for the Memphis Grizzlies have changed. Here's what it boils down to, in essence:
The two NBA teams that lost a game in Europe last year--Clippers, 76ers--did not make the playoffs. Although my initial thought had been that the Grizzlies will be much better with a healthy Gasol, Memphis looked so soft in the loss to Unicaja Malaga that I downgraded my opinion.
So, he is echoing Chip's earlier thoughts that the games against international competition could be an indicator on a team's playoff chances. Still, even though I like Friedman as a writer, I'm going to have to give him our first ever Overreaction Award. Congrats, David! = )
In other news, local Memphis product and former Vanderbilt Commodore Derrick Byars was cut by the Philadelphia 76ers today. Since the Sixers already had Andre Igoudala, Willie Green, Rodney Carney, Thaddeus Young and Kyle Korver under contract at the G/F positions, it was a longshot that Byars was going to find a meaningful spot in the rotation in Philly. However, his scoring ability might fit well back home in Memphis. The former Ridgeway star could be signed to a non-guaranteed contract and then sent to the D-League for the bulk of the year, while being brought over a few times to see how well he plays at the highest level. That would be an ideal situation since Tarence Kinsey is on the last year of his current contract and Casey Jacobsen is on a one-year deal, as is Juan Carlos Navarro. Although I'm sure that if Navarro keeps up his level of play to what we've witnessed to this point, the Grizzlies' front office will find a way to re-sign him next year, even if it means making some one-sided trades. At least, that sounds reasonable to me....and some others as well. This would mean cutting Dontell Jefferson, but if the choice comes down to either the reigning SEC Player of the Year or a guy I hadn't even heard of two months ago, I think I'll take Byars.