SACRAMENTO - Sacramento Kings training camp is just a week away and the focus should be on the revamped roster and new arena. But nothing is ever that easy in Sacramento.
Rudy Gay has informed the team that he intends to opt out of the final year of his contract at season’s end and become an unrestricted free agent, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Gay, 30, made it clear to the Kings following the season that he wouldn’t mind finding a new address during the summer. While the Kings shopped the 10-year veteran, they struggled to find a deal that made sense for everyone involved.
With the offseason coming to a close, the Kings front office had shifted gears once again, hoping to pair Gay with holdovers, DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison, as well as veteran additions Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple, Anthony Tolliver, Matt Barnes and Ty Lawson.
That still might be the only play the Kings have with training camp set to open on Sept. 27. Although they have plenty of options at the small forward position, teams around the league seldom make major moves this close to the start of the season.
After coming over from the Toronto Raptors in December of 2013, Gay signed a three-year extension in November of 2014. Weeks later, the franchise made the decision to relieve head coach Michael Malone of his duties, sending the franchise into a season and a half of chaos.
Gay is set to make $13.3 million this year with a $14.2 million player option for next season. He underwent shock wave treatment on his ailing Achilles tendon over the summer and is physically ready to start the season.
He is coming off his worst campaign during his time in Sacramento, averaging 17.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34 minutes per game, but that was largely due to his reduced role under former head coach George Karl.
Gay would prefer an early resolution to his current situation, but with the season just around the corner, the Kings will likely wait until closer to the NBA’s trade deadline in February to shop the wing.