Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro says he didn’t trade for Rudy Gay just to have him around for this year, and he’ll continue to talk to the forward who’s undecided on a player option worth more than $19.3MM for 2014/15, as D’Alessandro tells Katie Cracchiolo of Kings.com. Gay has a chance to become a sought-after free agent this summer, but D’Alessandro apparently wants to ensure that he’s back one way or another.
The Octagon Sports client expressed profound indecisiveness nearly a month ago about his option, which would likely give him a greater salary for next season than he could receive on a new contract. Still, a fresh deal would no doubt allow Gay to lock in a greater amount over the long term, and it would give him freedom to pursue interest from rumored suitors like the Suns and other teams that could give him a better chance to win sooner than Sacramento can.
D’Alessandro says that he’s optimistic that Gay has enjoyed the Sacramento community, and Gay said in January that he was comfortable with his new home following the December trade that brought him from Toronto. The 27-year-old also expressed excitement about the on-court freedom coach Michael Malone has given him, and D’Alessandro is similarly high on what Gay has done for the team.
“We did our analysis of Rudy before we did our deal. Rudy is exactly what I expected, which has been nothing short of great,” D’Alessandro said. “We see him as a very consistent, top-level player.”
The Kings have about $47MM in commitments for next season, but that doesn’t include Gay or Isaiah Thomas, who’s set for restricted free agency. D’Alessandro said he and the team “just think the world of” Thomas, and that he’ll be talking to his reps at ASM Sports, too. New contracts for both would likely eat up most, if not all, of Sacramento’s cap flexibility, but if Gay opts out and the Kings re-sign him at a lower salary for next season, it’ll give the club more breathing room beneath the tax line. I took a look at Gay’s free agent stock last week.