Despite numerous reports relaying that the Kings are shopping Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay, team executive Vlade Divac stated during an interview on Sirius XM NBA Radio that Sacramento intends to hang onto both players this season.
Regarding McLemore, Divac said, “You’re going to receive a lot of calls, you’re going to make a lot of calls. We’re very happy with Ben [McLemore], the way he’s progressing this summer. He’s a very young player that we like a lot, so we’re going to keep him.” The Kings reportedly turned down an offer from the Bucks last week that would have shipped McLemore to Milwaukee in exchange for point guard Michael Carter-Williams. At one point during the summer it appeared that the shooting guard was a lock to be dealt, but the coaching staff has reportedly connected with McLemore and believes that they can maximize his talents. The 23-year-old is eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end.
The situation with Gay is a bit more muddled, with the small forward announcing in September that he plans to opt out of his contract next summer. The veteran hasn’t sounded all that enthusiastic to still be a member of the Kings moving forward, but the franchise has no obvious replacement for him at the three spot and wouldn’t be guaranteed to receive one vie trade either. Regarding Gay, Divac said during his radio appearance, “Rudy is a tremendous talent, he’s somebody that’s beautiful to watch the way he plays. We think Rudy is a big part of this team to be successful, so we decide to go with him. If he decides to stay next year, that’s great. If he decides to leave, that’s fine. But we want to make sure we compete this year.” Gay is earning $13,333,333 this season.
Neither player has looked especially sharp in the preseason thus far. McLemore is averaging 8.5 points and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 34.8% from the field overall and 14.3% from three-point range. Gay has notched 5.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists to go along with a shooting line of .308/.333/1.000.