Rudy Gay Seeks Five-Year, $50 Million Contract Extension
"I think I should be in that range,'' Gay told FanHouse before his team's 133-123 loss to Denver on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center.
However, Gay said the Grizzlies have yet to offer a deal worth as much as $50 million over five years.
"Yeah, you're right,'' he said.
Monday at midnight ET is the deadline for Gay and other first-round picks from 2006 to sign extensions that would kick in for the 2010-11 season. If Gay and other eligible players don't sign, they become restricted free agents next summer.
Gay said his agent, Jeff Austin, told him Friday it's "50-50'' an extension will be reached by the deadline, and he planned to talk with him again late Sunday night. Gay said he's putting much of the responsibility upon Austin to come up with a suitable contract and had told Austin he only wanted to hear from him in recent days if a deal was close.
"If it's not 50, if it's more, I stand behind him,'' said Gay, speaking of Austin being able to negotiate a contract in excess of $50 million over five years. "I'm not going to turn it down.''
If the Grizzlies don't end up meeting Gay's price, he said he's not concerned about playing out this season and becoming a restricted free agent.
"I've been playing for four years,'' said Gay, who scored 18 points Sunday to raise his average to 17.0. "I only know how to play one way. It's not going to change whether I have a contract or not.''
Gay, drafted No. 8, and Boston guard Rajon Rando, taken No. 21, were the only players from the 2006 class known as of Sunday night to still be involved in discussions regarding possible extensions.
Randy Foye getting an deal done, but that has been expected for the past week. Foye, taken No. 7 in that draft, did look good Saturday with 17 points and eight assists after moving into the Wizards' starting lineup.
Only five players so far -- Toronto's Andrea Bargnani, LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy of Portland, Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha and Denver's Renaldo Balkman -- have signed extensions. That makes it quite possible a record low will be set since this format started with the 1995 draft (draftees from 1995-97 became unrestricted free agents after three seasons so there was much more urgency). The 2005 draft class got just seven extensions before last fall's deadline.
Balkman's extension was considered a surprise. But Balkman, knowing what a tough economy this is, didn't hold out for more money next summer, and accepted a three-year deal worth around $5 million.
"I feel great,'' said Balkman, apparently now minding less that he hasn't played due to a coach's decision in Denver's first three games.
If the Grizzlies meet Gay's price, he might be feeling great himself by Monday's end.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com.