Grizzlies re-sign Rudy Gay

The Memphis Grizzlies have re-signed forward Rudy Gay to a multi-year contract, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.  Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract details this afternoon.

“It’s a great day for the Grizzlies franchise to re-sign Rudy Gay,” Wallace said.  “Rudy has been a cornerstone of our team for the past four seasons and was one of the top stars in perhaps the greatest free agent class in NBA history.  We’re very excited for him to continue his professional career in the city of Memphis.”

Gay, a 6-8, 230-pound forward, ranked second in scoring (19.6 points, T-18th in the NBA) while setting career highs in field goal percentage (.466), steals (1.48) and minutes (39.7, 3rd) for a Grizzlies team that was the second-most improved team in the NBA last season behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Currently Memphis’ longest-tenured player, the four-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.25 steals in 35.3 minutes in 318 career games (282 starts), all with the Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies’ third all-time leading scorer (5,538 points), Gay also ranks in the Top 10 in franchise history in rebounds (1,756, 8th), field goals made (2,118, 3rd), three-point field goals made (337, 4th), steals (398, 3rd), minutes (11,223, 6th), games played (8th) and games started (4th).

“I’m grateful to the Grizzlies organization for giving me the opportunity to continue my NBA career in Memphis,” Gay said.  “We really got some momentum going last year under Coach (Lionel) Hollins, and I hope our fans are as excited as I am to see us build on that, continue to improve and achieve our goals for seasons to come. I embrace the opportunity to continually evolve in this leadership role – on and off the court.”

A member of the 2010-12 Team USA Men’s National Team Program, Gay has proven to be one of the NBA’s top young scorers over his career.  Last season, the 23-year-old ranked fourth in the league in scoring average behind Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans among players age 23 or younger.  The Baltimore, Md. native is one of five NBA players including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Andre Iguodala with at least 4,500 total points (4,692) and 300 total steals (327) over the last three seasons.

Memphis acquired Gay’s draft rights (eighth overall in the 2006 NBA Draft) along with Stromile Swift from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Shane Battier on July 12, 2006.  In his final season at the University of Connecticut, Gay was named a 2005-06 First-Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and was one of four finalists for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award as a sophomore.