Rudy Gay is in Sacramento after yesterday’s trade, the second swap he’s been a part of in an 11-month span. He’s the anti-hero of basketball analytics, a player with a 7’3″ wingspan who fits the classic profile of an elite small forward but doesn’t look quite so appealing under the bright glare of advanced statistics. Traditional numbers show averages of 19.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game since 2007/08, but they belie the lack of a consistent outside shot. Gay seems to attempt to make up for that by simply shooting more often, and his field goal attempts this season are at a career high just as his field goal percentage is at a career low.
The Kings nonetheless believe in him. Owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly coveted him for months. GM Pete D’Alessandro thinks Gay’s shooting will at least return to the level he displayed in Memphis now that he’s again playing with a first-rate inside force in DeMarcus Cousins. Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee suggests that the team might be planning to offer Gay an extension if he performs well this season. It’s not clear if the team is truly considering that, and even if the Kings are, an extension wouldn’t have to include salaries resembling Gay’s nearly $17.9MM payday for this season, or his $19.3MM player option for 2014/15.
Still, it’s clear the Kings value him more highly than the executives from other teams who recently told Grantland’s Zach Lowe that they wouldn’t sign Gay to a deal for as much as the mid-level exception if he were a free agent. Gay sparks much debate, with front offices across the league seemingly assigning him drastically different valuations. Let us know what you think Gay will wind up with, and feel free to be more specific in the comments. Bear in mind that this poll asks what you think Gay will receive on his next deal, not what he should get.