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Rudy Gay trade: Kings concede potential 2014-15 cap space in hopes of improvement

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The bet for the Kings: Gay will be better than anyone the team could have gotten for the traded assets or potential cap space.


Had the Kings held tight and waived John Salmons at the end of the season, they could have had enough cap space to chase a mid-rung free agent in July 2014. Instead, the Kings on Sunday flipped Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson for Rudy Gay and two small contracts. The Kings take on an extra $12 million in 2014-15 salary due to the deal.

In the unlikely but possible event that Gay opts out of his contract in June, the Kings would have an extra $7 million in cap space on account of losing Hayes' deal and the $1 million guaranteed owed to Salmons. Again, it's unlikely Gay will opt out of $19 million owed in 2014-15. Possible, but not likely at all.

Part of this deal is basically a guarantee that more deals are on the way. With Gay's massive deal, the Kings have $65 million due in 2014-15 before accounting for the 2014 draft pick ($2-5 million likely) and restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas, who figures to be upwards of $7 million, perhaps much more. The Kings absolutely need to lose another player in the Jason Thompson/Marcus Thornton range to make this work.

Pete D'Alessandro has certainly been active in six months on the job. Chances are there are plenty more moves to come before July.