It’s been another tumultuous offseason for the Sacramento Kings. Darren Collison, projected to be their starting point guard after Rajon Rondo fled for Chicago, is being convicted for domestic battery. Their draft baffled everyone, inclduing their franchise player Demarcus Cousins. They failed yet again to make any significant acquisitions via free agency.
Despite this, things are a little more optimistic than usual in Sacramento. They have a certified great coach in Dave Joerger, and Cousins just put on a show at the Rio Olympics. Their roster doesn’t quite make sense, but they do have a lot of talent. Unfortunately, one of their key starters doesn’t seem interested in being a part of that talent for much longer.
According to a report by Steve Kyler for Basketball Insiders, Kings small forward Rudy Gay will not be with the team for much longer.
The Kings and Rudy Gay are headed toward a divorce; it’s only a matter of time. Gay holds a Player Option for next season and even though $14.2 million seems like the right number for Gay, even in this new bloated contract environment, he likely opts-out not for the first number, but the last number on his new deal.
“The Kings are expected to open camp with the roster as it stands, but as things start to take shape, there is little doubt Gay is one of the odd guys out, especially if the fit is less than ideal.
“Uncertainty is a problem in any transaction in the NBA, but as things get closer to the trade deadline and teams fail to meet their objectives, obtaining a versatile small forward who more than likely opts out is a viable possibility. Word is the Kings do not want a ton in return for him, so this one seems like a matter of when rather than if.”
Gay has been with the Kings since 2013 after coming over via a trade with the Toronto Raptors. Trading Gay might be exactly what the Kings need to finally make a playoff push: as we learned from the Memphis Grizzlies and that 2013 Raptors team, nothing improves a team’s season quite like trading Rudy Gay.
Whether or not they execute a trade, it is clear this will be Gay’s last season with the team. With the amount of money in the league right now, it’s obvious that someone will give him a chance. But his position in the league is hard to determine. He’s an inefficient, high-volume shooter who doesn’t play great defense. He’s the type of player the league is leaving behind, but he sill has useful skills.