Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Z-Bo Punishes Knicks in Garden Return, Says Rudy Gay Will Return to Memphis
NEW YORK — Zach Randolph says hisGrizzlies teammate Rudy Gay wants to stay in Memphis after he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.
“He said he’s gonna come back here. This is where he started at,” Randolph said after dropping 31 points and 25 rebounds in a 120-109 victory over the Knicks, his former team, at Madison Square Garden.
The 6-foot-8 Gay reportedly rejected the Grizzlies’ five-year, $50 million offer last November because he wanted a five-year, $65 million extension.
“If it would’ve happened then, then it would be done, but now it’s all about my team and I’d be selfish if I’d be thinking about that the whole season and I’m not that type of player or person,” said Gay, who is averaging 20 points and 5.8 rebounds and had 27 and 5 in the win over the Knicks.
The Grizzlies can give Gay a $4.4 million qualifying offer this summer. He can be signed to an offer sheet by another team, but Memphis reserves the right to match the offer and keep him. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2011.
While the Knicks will target the big-name free agents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Gay could be an attractive option this summer if none of those pan out.
“It’s definitely a historic, great place to play,” Gay said of the Garden. “But I’m wearing a Grizzlies jersey right now, so maybe this summer you could ask me that question and it will be a different answer. But right now it’s all about my team.”
Wherever he lands, the future is bright.
“The guy’s 6-8, athletic, can run, jump, shoot,” Randolph said.
“You see he took over tonight. The sky’s the limit. He’s a future All-Star.”
(Photo courtesy NBA.com)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.