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Kings reach extension deal with Rudy Gay for 3 years, $40 million

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Thearon W. Henderson

Kings fans can breathe a sigh of relief.  Rudy Gay will be a Sacramento King for the foreseeable future.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported today that the Kings and Gay had reached agreement on a contract extension worth $40 million over 3 years.  The deal includes a player option for the final season, just like his last contract did.

From Woj's article on the deal:

Gay's agent, Alex Saratsis of Octagon, finalized the details of the deal with Sacramento management over the past several days, culminating with an agreement on Saturday night. The Kings have wanted to re-sign Gay for several months, and Gay decided to push forward with an agreement in recent days, deciding to bypass free agency in the summer.

For the Kings, the re-signing of Gay is an important statement on the franchise's ability to get high-level players to decide to stay with the organization. For years, it had been a struggle for the Kings, but the new ownership and management regime made the kind of organizational changes needed to court and keep Gay.

Sacramento has started the season 6-4 against a very tough schedule and that no doubt factored into Rudy's mind when making this decision.  For the Kings, this is a significant hurdle that they no longer have to worry about, as they now have both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy locked up for three more years after this one.  Cousins will be just 27 years old when his contract expires and Rudy will be 31.

Rudy Gay is currently making $19.3 million in the final year of the max contract extension the Memphis Grizzlies gave him after his rookie contract was up.  Gay never lived up to that contract in either Memphis or Toronto, but Sacramento took a chance on him last season and it's been paying big dividends.  Gay has been a very good #2 to DeMarcus Cousins and has played some of the best basketball of his career so far in Sacramento.  Gay is currently averaging 22.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game, all numbers that would be career-highs if he can sustain it.

Gay's new contract is set to pay him an average of $13.3 million a year, which is not bad considering the rising salary cap (which could explode in a couple years thanks to the new television contract).  That deal falls short of the contracts given to guys like Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, and Josh Smith. There was some thought that Gay would end up signing a $14-15 million a year deal, and this falls short of that.  This deal should give the Kings some flexibility going forward to continue to improve the team around Cousins and Gay.

This is a great day for the Sacramento Kings.