The rumors will continue, but Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that the team isn’t looking to move Rudy Gay. Reports have linked him to the Warriors and Bobcats, who own the No. 7 and No. 2 picks in the 2012 Draft, respectively: “The man writing checks to pay Rudy Gay’s NBA maximum salary said Friday that he has no plan to sign off on trading the Grizzlies’ promising yet often maligned small forward. Reports persist that the Griz are shopping Gay to shed payroll and acquire a draft pick in the lottery. But Griz owner Michael Heisley says that just isn’t the case. ‘We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay,’ Heisley said. ‘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.’ Gay, 25, will be the team’s second-highest-paid player next season. His $16.4 million salary for the 2012-13 season is slightly less than the $16.5 million that power forward Zach Randolph will earn. Gay is owed about $53.6 million over the next three seasons after signing an $84 million contract as a restricted free agent in 2010. Heisley chuckled at the perception that the Griz want to dump Gay and his salary, citing past and erroneous speculation that he wouldn’t pay to keep key players. ‘Our plan was always to protect the core. I’ve got the core for four years,’ Heisley 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.'”
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