Rudy Gay's ready to answer the bell

Rudy Gay might not be a member of the proposed, star-studded free-agent
summit of 2010.

But he plans to be a heavyweight next season.

The Grizzlies’ soon-to-be restricted free agent forward has engaged in a
training regime earmarked for boxers since the regular season ended.
Gay, who is about to enter his fifth NBA season, has taken his offseason
workout to another level as he prepares for a USA Basketball training
camp next month and a possible maximum contract offer when free agency
begins July 1.

"I’m not fighting anyone," Gay said this weekend when reached by phone.
"I’m going through the training. There’s no more in-shape athlete than a

Gay said he picked up the idea of training like a boxer from other NBA players such as Cuttino Mobley, Al Harrington, David West and Manu Ginobili.

The likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire will soak up most of the big money. On the second tier, Gay will be highly coveted.

One team that will make a strong run at Gay is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Team owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn have already targeted Gay as an attainable player to uplift the struggling franchise.

Griz owner Michael Heisley continues to insist that Gay will be a Grizzly next season. Memphis (namely Heisley) has the right to match any offer sheet that is presented to Gay from another team.

Meanwhile, former NBA star Alonzo Mourning has been successful in recruiting Gay to join his team of volunteers providing aide in Haiti. Gay boarded a flight Saturday and spent the day helping Haiti victims recover from the devastating earthquake that rocked the island earlier this year.

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