Rudy Gay spent six and a half years in Memphis before being traded to the Toronto Raptors during the ’12-’13 season. The following year he was shipped to Sacramento where he has currently just picked up his player option for $19.3 million. Gay was a staple in Memphis since being drafted in 2006, but the front office decided that his contract was too expensive. Rudy Gay has always been a borderline fringe star that has been unable to lead a team to title contention.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski’s report:
The re-signing of Gay is a top priority for the Kings. Team management and Gay’s agent, Alex Saratsis of Octagon, are expected to re-engage discussions in the near future, sources said.
After July 1, the Kings and Gay will be able to negotiate a full four-year contract extension. Gay has been in constant contact with Kings management, and has been impressed with new owner Vivek Ranadive’s commitment to constructing a contender, sources said.
The Kings consider Gay a cornerstone of the franchise’s future and prolonging the process on extension discussions gives him a chance to further evaluate the team’s progress on improving the roster before he fully commits to a deal. If Gay is unable to complete an extension in the next year, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015.
The Grizzlies were very successful with Rudy Gay on the roster, but after doing well in the playoffs without Gay, management decided to ship him out. Sacramento will be building around a player who needs the ball in his hands, so they will need to surround him with some solid role players in order to maximize his abilities.
Gay looks to be working towards a long-term deal with Sacramento, but a return to Memphis on a cheaper deal could have been a good fit. When Gay was traded from the Grizzlies he left a hole at small forward, which has since been filled by the aging Tayshaun Prince. He has always been a statistically strong player, but he needs the ball in his hand a good amount of the time to be effective. Rudy Gay was a good and even great player in Memphis at times, but now he will spend the next chapter of his career in Sacramento.