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DeMarcus Cousins reaching out to Rudy Gay, trying to keep him on Kings

Jun 20, 2014, 11:23 AM EST

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

Nobody saw it coming. When Rudy Gay went to Sacramento in the middle of last season he transformed for a high-volume scorer to a highly efficiency player overnight. Maybe it’s coach Mike Malone’s system, maybe it’s the players around him, maybe it’s Gay trying to prove all his critics wrong. Whatever happened he went from a well below average true shooting percentage of 46.8 percent in Toronto to 56.7 percent with the Kings. His PER jumped from 14.7 to 19.6.

Now the Kings are putting on the full court press to get Gay to stay.

Gay can opt out of the final year of his contract, worth $19.3 million, to test the open market. Whether it is opting in or re-signing in Sacramento, the Kings want to keep him. Star player DeMarcus Cousins is part of that effort, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

Cousins is trying to become the leader on this team, that is exactly how you do it.

Of course, what really matters is what Gay wants. Entering the prime of his career is he willing to sacrifice money to contend? Does a guy raised on the East Coast want to go back there? Or does basketball fit matter, in which case you have to like the Kings’ chances?

Gay could opt in, take the massive payday for one more year and put off the decision until 2015. Then, if he decides to bolt Sacramento, he can see if he can figure out a way to team up with other stars in a potentially deep free agent class. He’d probably like the security of a longer-term deal now (even at less per year) but this is an option.

Gay has had one efficient half a season in his career. You can get GMs, particularly stats-inclined GMs, are going to be leery that’s a long-term trend. He has value on the market, but it may not be what he thinks it is.

  1. mungman69 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    P

  2. sasquash20 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Man I wish my Sixers would have taken the obvious guy in Cousins instead of Turner at number 2 that year. That bad draft pick of Turner cost the Sixers big time when they traded and over payed big time for Bynum. We would have a sick young core if we just took Cousins

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      When did you guys overpay for Bynum? You guys never resigned him after you traded for him.

      • spursareold - Jun 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        They paid his salary. He did nothing. Seems like overpayment to me.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        Also, taking on J-Rich’s deadweight deal, trading Iggy, Vucevic, Harkless and a #1 was a pretty steep price to pay for zero production.

  3. bhunter1995 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    He has found a place where the system fits his play style and where he can play his game within the existing system. Not only that but he has a lot of money coming to him if he picks his player option and stays with the Kings, I really don’t see him leaving for #1 The money and #2 The fact that the Sacramento system and roster has revived his falling career.

  4. sportsfan18 - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    If ANYONE has to talk him into opting in for a $19 plus million dollar payday, then he is nuts.

    The amount he could opt in for this coming season is MORE money than Lebron was paid by the Heat for this past season.

    The amount he could opt in for this coming season would give him the 11th highest salary in the league for the 2014/15 season.

    The $19.3 million would have been the 7th highest salary in the league this past season.
    .
    Yes, Rudy could sign a deal for more yrs and most likely more overall money than $19.3 million but he needs to really think this through.

    First, he isn’t as good as he thinks he is.

    Second, let’s just use real numbers and create a hypothetical. Let’s say he gets a 4 yr deal for $32 million if he opts out (I don’t think he can, but I think that he thinks he can).

    Well, if he were to play for $19.3 million this season and then get a 4 yr $32 million deal next summer (more likely if he plays very well this year) then he will make a lot more money over the 5 yrs from this season on.

    When he opts out and gives up the $19.3 million, I think he’ll be lucky to see 4 yrs and $24 million.

    Take the $19.3 million Rudy. Then, next summer, even if you only sign for 3 yrs and $18 million, the next four yrs would still bring you $37.3 million.

    You are not going to get $37 million on a 4 yr deal if you opt out.

    You HAVE to take the $19.3 million and then add that amount and 1 yr into the average of whatever your next contract is.

    Leaving $19.3 million on the table would be beyond silly.

  5. logicalcomment - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    This isn’t Football, he should definitely opt-in.

    And on the small chance he gets a career ending injury , 20 MILLION Dollars IS long term security.

  6. mazblast - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Sadly, it’s not just a matter of whether he thinks he can get more on the open market. His agent, alleged friends, etc., may play a role. “Naw, man, we don’t want to live off you in no Sacramento. We want to live off you in New York or Chicago or LA!”

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