SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings have added four players during the NBA Draft and another four players via free agency, but they aren’t done retooling their roster yet.
Despite a published report to the contrary early on Friday, CSN California has confirmed through a league source that veteran Rudy Gay has not demanded a trade from the Kings. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that Gay will begin the season on the Kings opening day roster.
Gay, along with Ben McLemore and big man Kosta Koufos are being shopped by Sacramento, in hopes of rebalancing the roster. They are available, but the Kings are not going to hand them over for free.
The Kings are looking for “rotation quality players” in exchange for the three and are more than willing to go into the season with the trio, according to a league source.
Gay, 29, made it clear during exit interviews following the season that he wouldn’t mind finding a new home during the offseason if it worked out for the club, but came well short of making demands.
The Kings' second leading scorer joined the Kings during the 2013-14 season after a short stint in Toronto. He signed a three-year extension with the team in 2014 that will pay him $13.3 million this season with a $14.3 million player option next season.
Gay finished the year averaging 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 34 minutes a night, but his role in George Karl’s offense diminished as the season progressed. He is still a high-end veteran scoring option and a quality locker room presence.
Koufos joined the Kings last summer, signing a 4-year, $33 million deal. But it was apparent early in the season that the 27-year-old 7-footer was a bad fit next to All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Koufos played in 78 games for Sacramento, averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 19 minutes per game.
Koufos became expendable in Sacramento when the team chose Georgios Papagiannis with the No. 13 overall pick and came back with Skal Labissiere with pick No. 28. With rising salaries in the league, Koufos is a solid veteran big on a spectacular contract. Like Gay, he is well liked by his teammates and can either start or come off the bench.
The Kings selected McLemore with the seventh overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. After struggling through his rookie season, McLemore looked like a player on the rise in year two. But he never found consistency in year three and lost minutes to a variety of different players, including Marco Belinelli and James Anderson.
At 23-years-old, McLemore is owed just $4 million next season. He is a low-risk, high-reward gamble for most teams. It appears that the Kings are ready to move forward with newly signed Arron Afflalo as their starter at the two and use a mix of veterans and rookie Malachi Richardson to eat minutes off the bench.
Big George gets an MRI
MRI’s are never a good thing, especially when they are being ordered on your first-round pick before a game has ever been played. Big man Georgious Papagiannis will undergo magnetic resonance imaging on his stiff left knee and miss Friday night’s opening Las Vegas Summer League game.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the test is only precautionary. We will have an update on the 18-year-old center on Saturday after test results come back in.