Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Oklahoma City Thunder who are reportedly eyeing to trade for Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay as temporary replacement for Kevin Durant.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s foundation was shattered into pieces when Kevin Durant decided to leave and join the Golden State Warriors. The struggle continues when Russell Westbrook did not express to extend or renegotiate his contract. Though there are reports that he will be traded soon, the Thunder are not yet giving up in making him stay.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Oklahoma City Thunder rescinded the qualifying offer to Dion Waiters, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. This move by the Thunder serves as preparation to re-sign Russell Westbrook in next year’s free agency.
For the Thunder, making such move is important than doing nothing at all to make him stay. The Thunder still have a good roster with Steve Adams, Ernes Kanter, Victor Oladipo and Russell Westbrook. What they need to do right now is fill the spot left by Kevin Durant.
It's going to take the Thunder a moment to regroup, but Sam Presti is sharp, likely has some Plan B blueprints he hoped he wouldn't need
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 4, 2016
Brett Coppenbarger of Oklahoma’s Own News9 suggested that the Thunder should pursue Rudy Gay from the Sacramento Kings. The 6-foot-8 swingman may not be as good as Kevin Durant but he is a prolific scorer. In the last season, he averaged 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Not sure asking price, but Rudy Gay would fill temporary OKC need ($13.3mil next yr, $14.2mil player option 17-18) https://t.co/8n7ci9wwd9
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 8, 2016
Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Rudy Gay has emerged as one of the most established NBA veterans available via trade. The Thunder have plenty of young talents they can use as trade assets to acquire 29-year-old small forward.
The Sacramento Kings are currently building around DeMarcus Cousins and adding some young players to boost their backcourt make sense. For the Thunder, they should start building around Russell Westbrook as their new franchise player.
Russell Westbrook excels without Kevin Durant being on the floor. pic.twitter.com/qoFCD6Gvae
— Thunder Nation (@_ThunderNation) July 8, 2016
Rudy Gay may not be the perfect replacement for Kevin Durant but it will give the chance for Russell Westbrook to go all out next season. The 2017 NBA free agency have plenty of superstars included in the market. If the Thunder still do well next season, they will still be an attractive destination for incoming free agents.
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