Pacific Notes: Gay, West, Pierce, Lawson, Warriors

A report last week indicated that Rudy Gay will opt out of his contract with the Kings in 2017, and the veteran forward confirmed as much when he spoke to reporters on Monday. “I made the decision to opt out,” Gay said during the club’s media day, per Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. “Whether I sign here, whether I’m here the rest of the season or whether I start here, it’s really not up to me. Wherever I am, I’m going play to the best of my ability.”

While Gay has not explicitly requested a trade, his comments on Monday, and throughout the offseason, suggest he’s not overly excited about spending another season with the Kings, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the team is as it explores potential trade scenarios in the coming weeks or months.

Here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • The Warriors‘ season-long recruitment of Kevin Durant last year was well-chronicled, and apparently Durant wasn’t the only free-agent-to-be Golden State pursued prior to July. According to David West, the Warriors reached out to his agent immediately after the Spurs were eliminated from the postseason by the Thunder in May (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post).
  • Noting that the Clippers‘ elimination last season “left a bad taste” in his mouth, Paul Pierce explained why he decided to return to the team for one more year, and Rowan Kavner of has the details and quotes.
  • Ty Lawson is hoping to rebuild his image and his NBA career with the Kings this season, per Michael Wagaman of The Associated Press (link via The Denver Post). “I think I’ve grown a lot and I’m just ready to move forward,” Lawson said. “I heard a GM said, ‘I think he lost a step. He can’t shoot anymore.’ I’ve got a lot to prove and I got a chip on my shoulder to prove it.”
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders provides some salary information for the Warriors, tweeting that Cameron Jones, Scott Wood, and Elgin Cook all received $50K guarantees on their one-year deals. There’s a good chance those three players end up with Golden State’s D-League affiliate.
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