Big news for the Toronto Raptors. Less than a year after acquiring the 27-year old star forward Rudy Gay, they decided to trade him away to the Sacramento Kings. The exchange for this trade is John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson. Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy will be shipped to Sacramento along with Gay as a part of this trade.
Well, if it’s big news for the Raptors to send away their star forward in such a short period of time then it’s much bigger news for the Sacramento Kings to actually receive Gay. In fact, Kings fans should be excited. Now just because of this addition but because the new management of the team seems determined to shake things up and try to make this team look better.
This move only make sense for the Kings. They trade away Greivis Vasquez, who certainly is a reliable point guard but now they will inject Isaiah Thomas into the lineup. Thomas has been playing exceptionally well this season for the Kings and he has shown that he can be very productive. So, the first positive side-effect of this deal is Thomas’s insertion to the starting group. Thomas is averaging 17.8 points and 4.9 assists in just 27.7 minutes of action this season. Now that he will see more playing time, he might really get out to a breakaway season.
Now, it’s true that Rudy Gay is shooting at career-lows up to this point of the season. Although he is putting up 19.4 points per game, he is going just 38.8 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from three-point range. Now, Gay also has a $19 million player option for the next season, which would simply kill the Kings’ salary cap if he decides to stay in Sacramento. As recently reported, there have been no talks between the team and Gay if he will opt-out this summer or stay with the Kings.
The Kings won’t have an easy time trying to adjust their play to the new reality. Gay is a player who demands the ball and so is Thomas. And did we mention there is also DeMarcus Cousins on the roster? The certain fact is that Head Coach Mike Malone will have a tough time solving the puzzle. Not only on the offensive end, but on defense, too. Gay is a player who isn’t known for his good defensive skills.
However, there is no denial that Gay, under a new coach and with new surroundings, will have the chance to finally find a good pace. He will have the chance to be a member of a young and energetic team, which has nothing more to prove than to just get better each season.
Gay’s presence will certainly cheer up a bit Kings fans. They will have one more reason to go to the Sleep Train Arena. Hopefully, Gay starts to find his role in Sacramento and bonds well with the team. However, at present, fans of the team should be measurably optimistic.
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