NBA Rumors: Rudy Gay as Heat’s ‘Plan B’ if they fail to acquire Gordon Hayward

Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings
PHOTOGRAPH: Michael Tipton/Flickr | Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings

Rudy Gay is set to become an unrestricted free agent after opting out the final year of his contract with the Sacramento Kings. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Miami Heat see Gay as “Plan B” if they fail to acquire Gordon Hayward in free agency.

Since the last offseason, Rudy Gay already expressed his desire to leave the Kings, who surprisingly drafted two big men who have the same position as DeMarcus Cousins instead of improving their backcourt. Gay was extremely unhappy in their situation in Sacramento and revealed that he’ll never return once he opts out.

Rudy Gay officially opts out of his contract with the Sacramento Kings

Before the February deadline, the Kings were expected to trade Gay but the veteran small forward suffered a season-ending injury. Recently, he made an official announcement regarding his NBA future. According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, Gay opts out of his contract with the Kings to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Gay declines his $14.2 million player option to test the free agency market. So far, his agent Roger Montgomery revealed Gay is “ahead of schedule” of his recovery as he has passed the initial rehabilitation stage. He’s also medically cleared to begin weightlifting and could return to the court by mid-June.

Rudy Gay to Miami Heat

As of now, it remains a mystery whether Gay will seek for a huge payday or consider joining a playoff contender. In the past months, Gay’s name has been frequently linked to the Miami Heat. The 30-year-old small forward will undeniably be a great addition to Miami. He can play alongside Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic.

After removing Chris Bosh salary from the book, the Heat will have almost $40 million in cap space. Acquiring at least one superstar this summer will surely be Heat president Pat Riley’s main priority. Gordon Hayward emerged as the top free agent target of the Heat.

However, they aren’t the only team who plans to steal Hayward from the Utah Jazz. The Boston Celtics also expressed their interest in acquiring the All-Star forward. If the Heat fail to acquire Hayward, they may consider Gay as their “Plan B.”

When healthy, Gay proves to be a reliable scorer who can either play at 3 or 4. In 30 games he played this season, he averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds. He also shot 45.5 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.

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