Here are potential deals for Rudy Gay that will make sense for the Sacramento Kings in the long run.
Sacramento Kings swingman Rudy Gay is one of the biggest names on the trading block with the NBA trade deadline fast approaching after the All Star break this February 18.
Thus far, multiple teams are interested in his services, including the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, and the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Kings will only listen to offers as long as the price is right, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
With the Sacramento Kings (21-28) sitting at 10th spot behind the Utah Jazz (23-25) and the Portland Trail Blazers (24-27) as of Thursday night, messing up the team chemistry is one of the things they cannot afford to do at this juncture.
However, with holes in the wings for the Sacramento Kings, they can easily fill the gap by trading away the 29-year old Rudy Gay – who has a $13.3 million contract next season, with a player option of $14.3 million in 2018 – for young pieces still in long term deals.
Here are five teams with young trading chips to spare in exchange for one talented (and perhaps peaking) Rudy Gay, according to hoopshabit.com:
Trading chips: SF Jae Crowder and PG Marcus Smart
Why this makes sense for the Kings: Jae Crowder vastly improved his game since being traded from the Dallas Mavericks in the Rajon Rondo trade, and he has the chance to further boost his name with the Kings.
On the other hand, Marcus Smart is a natural point guard who can be converted to shooting guard, filling the Kings’ need of wing shooters.
Overall, with Smart and Crowder in their roster, the Kings will have much to gain in grabbing the eighth spot in the playoffs and possibly beyond, should both players develop their potential.
Trading chips: SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, PF Tyler Hansbrough, SG Troy Daniels
Why this makes sense for the Kings: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is back to his old form – and even better – since returning from a pre-season shoulder injury. The former second overall pick has the same offensive firepower as Rudy Gay, but has the defensive intensity that likened him to Andre Iguodala.
On the other hand, Tyler Hansbrough will slide right in at power forward and give flexibility for big men Kosta Koufos and DeMarcus Cousins to exclusively play center.
Trading chips: SG Will Barton, PF JJ Hickson, C Jusuf Nurkic
Why this makes sense for the Kings: JJ Hickson and Jusuf Nurkic will be what the doctor ordered – inside presence to alternate with DeMarcus Cousins. With Hickson’s contract expiring, this will free up cap space to stock load on talent.
But the key piece here is a young Will Barton, who will spice up the wings for George Karl. He is known for his athletic plays and top-notch shooting this season. Barton jacked up his three-point shooting to 38.4 from long distance, hiking up his season average to 15.5 points this season in contrast to 6.8 points last year.
Trading chips: SG Victor Oladipo, PF Andrew Nicholson, SG Evan Fournier
Why this makes sense for the Kings: Victor Oladipo showed flashes of brilliance in his first few seasons in the league and his stock only rises further. However, with an identity crisis in Orlando as either a two-guard or point guard, Oladipo will have his shot as a shooting guard with Rajon Rondo running the show in Sac Town.
Throw in Andrew Nicholson and Evan Fournier in the mix and you will have good wing players for Rondo to kick out to, although both players are on expiring contracts at the end of the season.
Portland Trail Blazers
Trading chips: PF Ed Davis, SG Allen Crabbe, SG Pat Connaughton
Why this makes sense for the Kings: Ed Davis is a flexible power forward that could also play center, relieving much of the inside troubles from DeMarcus Cousins. Throw in an exciting third year man in Allen Crabbe plus Pat Connaughton – who will provide much of the outside shooting – and the Kings will have the recipe to make it big in the long run.
Which deal is best for Sacramento? A potential trade with the Boston Celtics with those names will sound nice, but it has been reported that the C’s will hold their cards close to its chest. The next best thing, however, will be the Orlando Magic trade which involves Victor Oladipo in the four player swap for Rudy Gay. But should we see any of those deals from Charlotte, Denver, and Portland, it would prove interesting for any of those teams involved with Sacramento.