Rudy Gay has been uncharacteristically vocal about his unhappiness as a member of the Sacramento Kings, and today’s report by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski is his latest attempt to pressure the organization to move him before the season starts.
According to Wojnarowski, Gay has informed the Kings that he will opt out of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent. I cannot immediately recall a player informing an organization of their intentions regarding a player option a full offseason early, particularly with this much publicity, that it’s nearly impossible to view this as anything other than a public reminder that he wants out. Trade me now, or lose me for nothing, basically.
I find this neither surprising, nor important. If Vlade Divac hasn’t surrendered to Rudy Gay’s wishes yet, I don’t necessarily think the revelation that he’s going to opt out next summer will suddenly change Divac’s mind. The Kings will trade Gay if they receive an offer that they like, and they won’t if they don’t. Woj’s new report probably doesn’t change that.
Wojnarowski really buried the lede in this article, anyway, because what Woj reports on Vivek Ranadive’s involvement in the Kings’ personnel decisions is far more damning than Gay’s decision to opt out.
None of this should make you feel good, if true.
I fundamentally disagree with Ranadive’s view that Gay is a ‘vital’ talent for the Sacramento Kings, but beyond that, his apparent involvement in the Kings personnel decisions is a massive problem.
If Ranadive is willing to gamble on losing an asset like Gay for nothing because he can “change Gay’s mind” I shudder to think what the Kings’ strategy might be when they have to make a similar decision on DeMarcus Cousins.
Gay’s trade value is low. If it wasn’t, he’d probably be gone already, so while I would hate to ‘lose’ Gay for nothing, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. If the Kings take a similar gamble with Cousins’ free agency, and lose him for nothing, that would be catastrophic.
It should be noted that the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones has also confirmed Woj’s report, at least in regards to Rudy’s side.