Rudy Gay off the NBA trading block, says Grizzlies owner

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The Memphis Grizzlies owner said that Rudy Gay will not be traded, despite the rumors. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Grizzlies are still exploring a trade of Rudy Gay and are engaging in active discussions with the Raptors and Celtics. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Rudy Gay will  not be traded after all, according to Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley in a report from Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

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. Our plan was always to protect the core. I’ve the core for four years. 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.”

Rumors have swirled in recent weeks of Gay's departure from the Grizzlies. Most recently, reported a potential trade that would involve Gay going to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for the Raptors No. 8 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft at the end of June. Golden State was also rumored to be interested in the 25-year-old Gay. According to Tillery, other teams had also expressed an interest in him including Brooklyn, Orlando and Charlotte.

With $16.4 million due to him in the 2012-13 NBA season, Gay is set to become the Grizzlies second-highest paid player, just $100,000 shy of the $16.5 owed to Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph.  There are three years and $53.6 million remaining on the $84 million contract Gay signed with the Grizzlies in 2010.