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Report: Rudy Gay to opt in with Kings, holding off on extension talks

Jun 22, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Rudy Gay is getting paid on a massive, old CBA contract that is set to bring him $19.3 million next season. He had an opt-out where he could leave that money on the table (and become a free agent) for the security of a longer deal, but he was going to take a steep pay cut per year no matter where he inked a new deal.

So Gay has decided to opt-in and stay in Sacramento — where he suddenly played the most efficient basketball of his career — and collect those massive pay checks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay will exercise his $19.3 million contract option for the 2014-15 season, but has tabled extension talks until later this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Kings want to bring Gay back — they loved how he meshed with DeMarcus Cousins in coach Mike Malone’s system — and if they want until after July 1 they can talk about a four year extension, reports Wojnarowski. It will be for less than his current salary, but four years and better than $50 million at least (maybe more like $60 million) is a given. (If his efficiency numbers regress to the mean that number could fall.)

Gay averaged 20.1 points a game for the Kings, just a couple points above his career average. However, what was stunning was the sudden improvement in his efficiency — 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.

The question now is will the Kings be able to keep restricted free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas. The issue is money, with Gay opting in and accounting for the No. 8 pick the Kings have an estimated $68.5 million in salary on the books. That is above a salary cap expected to be just above $63 million and pushing a luxury tax line of $77 million. The Kings want to avoid a tax but if a team comes in and offers Thomas $8 million a year (a possibility) the Kings would have to pay the tax to keep him and round out the roster. And this is still not a roster likely to make the playoffs in the West (maybe they compete for the 7/8 seed). To keep Thomas they need a salary dump.

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro has some work to do this summer, but keeping Gay helps give him a cornerstone. Those are the hard pieces to get.

  1. loubearkane - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Thought he had HOUSTON over paying written all over him

  2. jzone954 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Unreal contract. Wow

  3. jamesk2465 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Seems like Sac lets go of all their lottery players. Tyreke, Jimmer, Thomas Robinson and now maybe Isaiah Thomas. Not to mention they’re open to trading this yrs 8th pick. I have no idea what they’re doing with this team.

    • brianspider - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      IT was the 60th pick and has a good chance of not going anywhere. Those other players were picked under the Maloofs and kind of suck

      • jamesk2465 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        I beg to differ. Someone who was the ROY of the yr def doesn’t suck, but it’s not like Sac ever gave the other 2 names a chance. One was gone by mid season and the other buried on the bench, even though he balled out in the garbage mins he was given.

      • brianspider - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        So you’d pay tyreke the 11million a year he is getting from the Pelicans? Jimmer and Trob are elsewhere now and guess what? They are not even role players

  4. rrhoe - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Like he was REALLY going to opt out!!! These players want to make it seem like it’s such a “tough” decision when to opt in or not,smmfh.

  5. lakerade - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Are Kings fans happy about this?

    • shaolin916 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:49 AM

      I would have been happier with him opting out and signing a longer deal for less $ per year that would have gave us more flexibility but Im not discouraged because the new ownership is being very aggressive in trying to bring a winning product to this city. Im happy that he will be here and hopefully we can convince him to stay long term, there’s a lot of promise with him and Demarcus together, and this is one of the first players Demarcus listens to as well haha. Rudy has been a whole new player since coming to Sacramento.

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