The Kings were in a position of power when DeMarcus Cousins signed his rookie scale extension last year, but Rudy Gay‘s decision to sign a veteran extension with the team this week is demonstrative of the strides the franchise has taken, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee examines.
“Obviously, when my contract was ending, I thought about going into free agency and maybe seeing what happens, but why search it when you have what you want right here?” Gay said.
Owner Vivek Ranadive and GM Pete D’Alessandro convinced the forward that the Kings were no longer the disorganized club that he’d heard stories about, Gay said, adding that having spent the offseason with Cousins helped influence his decision, too, Jones tweets. A bond with new point guard Darren Collison and comfort with the Sacramento community were also factors, Gay acknowledged, as fellow Bee scribe Ailene Voisin notes (Twitter link). There’s more on the Gay extension amid the latest from the Pacific Division:
- The Clippers planned to re-sign Willie Green after waiving him this summer, but the Magic stymied that when they claimed him off waivers, writes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. “We were not very happy with the Magic on that one,” Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers said.. “We just assumed that no one would pick him up. Willie’s one of those guys you just want around.” Rivers also said that Green can serve as an assistant coach for him after he retires, Woike notes.
- Turning down Knicks president Phil Jackson to take the Warriors job instead was “probably the hardest thing that I had to do professionally,” Steve Kerr tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post. “He basically made my career. From my experience in Chicago, that allowed me to have the success to sign as a free agent in San Antonio, where I had another incredible experience. My career path, started with Lute Olson [at Arizona] … but Phil’s the guy who got me rolling and gave me all the opportunities that I have in front of me right now.”
- The Gay extension was a positive step for the Kings, and one the team had to make to move toward playoff contention, Voisin opines.