Multiple sources confirmed that Rudy Gay will exercise his option at $19.3 million and remain with the Sacramento Kings next season. Acquired from the Toronto Raptors in a December trade, Gay averaged 20.1 points per game and shot 48% from the floor. Retaining the 27 year old who toiled in college at UConn under legendary head coach Jim Calhoun and Associate Head Coach George Blaney was a major objective of the Kings front office.
Along with DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged 22,7 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game last season, the Kings now appear to have two thirds of last year's triumvirate locked up for next season while Isaiah Thomas who averaged 20.3 points per game and 6.3 assists per game in his third season in the NBA will become a restricted free agent on July 1st.
As the Kings head into year two under new ownership of Vivek Ranadive and basketball operations leadership of GM Pete D'Allesandro and Head Coach Michael Malone, keeping Gay in Sacramento is a major step toward stability as with the roster turnover last season, the team essentially had three training camps -the initial one, one with the acquisition of Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves in November and one when Gay was acquired in December.
This is not to say that other roster moves are not imminent especially with the unknown future of Thomas and the Kings number eight selection in Thursday's NBA draft but it gives Sacramento a chance to solidify an identity as a team with major pieces of the foundation in place like Cousins and Gay.
Here's a look at Rudy Gay's offensive prowess from last season and the Kings and Rudy's representation have until October 31st to get a long term deal done.