No one? I've been a Kings fan since birth, and let's try to recap the free agents the Kings have persuaded to come to the City of Trees since ever. There has been Bobby Jackson, who was wasting away on the bench in Minnesota. Jim Jackson wasn't offered a contract by any team, so he joined the Kings after the season had started, and the list goes on in regards to recon missions of NBA careers (Jon Barry, Vernon Maxwell, Keon Clark). Vlade Divac was the only notable free agent to ever sign with the Kings. If the Kings moved here in 85, and Vlade signed in 99, the Kings were technically due another high profile free agent in...2013! Are you saying Andre Iguodala would have signed with SACRAMENTO!?!?!? Nope, not going to happen. I love my home town, but there isn't a lot of glamour to be had around these parts.
When I would rebuild franchises while playing NBA Live on my Playstation growing up, I would always try to keep a lot of cap room so I could lure free agents to Sacramento. If only life was that easy. Too bad I can't just cut Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson so we could force Lebron James to be a King next year. Cap room is really overrated unless you live in a city where players want to live. What cities lure free agents? New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, and...not a lot of places. D.Wade lured Lebron James and Chris Bosh to Miami, not the city. The NBA isn't built the same was as Major League Baseball. There isn't a lot of freedom when it comes to free agency. Everyone builds through sign and trades and the draft. Examine team USA
Kevin Durant - Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics
Russell Westbrook - Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics
Kobe Bryant - Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets then traded to the Lakers
Deron Williams - Drafted by Utah, then traded to New Jersey
Lebron James - Left via free agency
Andre Iguodala - Left via free agency
James Harded - Drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder then traded to Houston
Tyson Chandler - Left via free agency.
Anthony Davis - Drafted by the Hornets
There are very few examples off franchise changing free agents leaving via free agency. Lack of cap room can be a luxury tax burden, but having it doesn't mean you are doing anything. The Sacramento Kings needed to make a deal to take a chance and they did. Rudy Gay has not been the same since a shoulder injury in 2011, but its worth a shot. He is instantly the Kings 2nd best player, and he doesn't through temper tantrums. Call his shot selection what you want, but the Raptors ran no offense, and he was the only guy who could mildly create a shot on that team. He played his best days in Memphis when he wasn't the the only capable scorer, and the Kings provide that. Cousins, Thomas and Gay create a trio of guys who can create a shot for themselves. If Mike Malone can get these guys to move the ball a little, it should increase every one of their shooting percentages. Cousins is a Center who shoots less that 50%, and IT shoots 46%. A lot of that has to do with the fact that teams knew...If we stop this guy, there isn't a whole lot else on the floor that will try to beat us. Most of the Kings roster is filled with guys who shoot jumpshots when open. That is the majority of their offensive game. Rudy Gay is at least a threat people have to respect. He started off shooting a career low 39%, well the Kings roster only shoots 43%, so he fits right in!
His stats will go up, that's how averages work. Kobe going 2 for 9 and shooting 22% in his return doesn't mean he will continue to be a 22% shooter the remainder of the year. Things have a way of evening themselves out.
PFs: Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry*
C: Demarcus Cousins, Aaron Gray, Hamady NDiaye
Pete D'Alessadro's comment about how he imagines Rudy Gay as a stretch 4 seemed a little odd to me until I thought about who the Kings had just acquired. Playing alongside Derrick Williams may save Rudy Gay. If Rudy Gay is playing a a stretch 4, rather than a 3, he will be playing closer to the basket than he did as a traditional 3. Remember all those shots that Brad Miller and Chris Webber used to make around 15-17 feet? The same ones that Patrick Patterson and Kenny Thomas could never hit? Imagine Rudy Gay in that position. I see his FG% rising back up to the mid 40s very soon. But with Williams' ability to play multiple spots, there will be much more freedom and movement for both of those guys to pick their spots.
Now let's trade Marcus Thornton and we may be onto something here. There are starting to be clearly defined roles visible on the roster when you just look at the makeup of it. IT is the starting PG, no question. McCallum is his backup. Ben McLemore is the 2-guard, and Thornton is his backup as long as he is still in Sac. Figuratively speeking, when Carl Landry returns, a combination of WIlliams and Gay will be the small forward with Outlaw getting very little time. Gay is the 4, with Landry backing him up, and Cousins will be given a rest by Jason Thompson. Not a lot of questions anymore. Stockpiling talent is one thing, but the Kings had stockpiled...just a bunch of guys.
In closing, I am pro-Rudy Gay when it comes to this trade. The Kings won't be able to make a splash in free agency until they become a viable playoff team where players would want to join. They are not there, but this is a step in the right direction