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Kings using Hall of Fame players, futuristic headset to convince Rudy to opt in

Jun 7, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony

When the Kings traded for Rudy Gay, they took a risk on his 2014-15 player option.

Specifically, the chanced they he might opt in.

Gay can make $19,317,326 in 2014-15 – far above what he could get on the open market.

The ideal option for Sacramento seemed to be Gay making the team more competitive last season and then opting out. If the Kings were pleased with him, they could try to re-sign him to a long-term rate at a more reasonable price. Sacramento would get the talent upgrade it sought, and Gay would get more financial security.

The first part of the plan didn’t really work. The Kings went just 22-41 after trading for Gay, though he played better than expected

Now, they’re actively trying to flub the second part.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Sacramento Kings officials are bringing two Hall of Famers to meet forward Rudy Gay early next week in hopes of convincing him to exercise the option in his contract for next season, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, a former Kings star, are expected to join Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone when they meet with Gay.

During the meetings, the Kings also will have Gay wear a headset with eyewear that will give him a complete virtual digital tour of the inside of the new Kings arena, including the locker room and arena floor.

No offense to Mullin and Richmond, but the virtual tour sounds even cooler than meeting the former players. That’s some real futuristic stuff.

But I have no idea why the Kings are pulling out all the stops to hamstring themselves.

If Gay opts out, Sacramento would project to have $13,572,718 in cap space. If the Kings want to re-sign Gay to a longer deal, that would obviously eat into most of that flexibility, but they’d at least have options.

If Gay opts in, forget cap space. The luxury tax becomes a real concern. Sacramento could offer restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas a deal starting at up to just $9,735,549 without exceeding the projected tax line. That’s probably enough leeway, but it leaves very little room, other than using the No. 8 pick in the draft, to upgrade a roster that went 28-54 last season.

This all very absurd. It really amounts to a lot of work to convince a slightly above-average starter to take $19.3 million for one season.

Forget Mullin, Richmond and headsets. Show Gay the money.

If he needs any more convincing than that, he’s on his own.

  1. sportsfan18 - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Let’s see if Rudy Gay is worth $19 Million plus…

    Let’s see who else plays for that kind of coin…

    LBJ played for LESS than that amount this past season, checking in at $19,067,500 PER of 29.3

    D Wade played for LESS. Checked in at $18,673,000 PER of 22.0

    Kevin Love played for LESS. Checked in at $14, 693,906 HIGHEST PER of anyone not named KD or LBJ with a PER of 26.9

    Chris Paul played for LESS checking in at $18,668,431 with a PER of 25.9

    NOW, Rudy Gay has never had even one season with a PER of 20. Well, he’s NEVER had a PER of even 18.4 for one season in his career. His career PER is only 16.4.

    Gay IS a good player.

    Gay is NOT a player worth $19 million plus a season…

  2. yesser12 - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    It would be stupid for him to opt out. It is possible his next contract could combine for 19.3mill

  3. mcjon22 - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    If I were running the Kings, I’d be trying to convince him to opt OUT not in. He’s a good player, but not 19 mil a year good

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Dumb’s gonna dumb.

  5. kidsamoa260 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Would have never happened to the Supersonics!

  6. primenumber19 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Be fair, his stats with the kings were way beyond those of an average player

  7. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Maybe they’re trying to come off as desperate and repel him.

  8. saint1997 - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    I’d say they have a plan to clear more cap room if Gay does opt in – they wouldn’t do this for no reason.

  9. onenineninee - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Rudy Gay is waaaay above average, stop trying to downplay his game. That said, Gay is one of those players who simply cannot make his teammates better. He’s a one man show. Off iso-plays he’s completely unstoppable, but that wont win you many games.

  10. therealhtj - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Reverse psychology?

  11. canadatude - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    How did the Raptors ever dump that contract on the Kings?

    • pacers24 - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      drake promised the maloofs they could be in his next video lol

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