The city of Sacramento, Vivek Ranadive's NBA 3.0 vision and the new downtown arena - it has all been part of the Kings' recruiting process to keep Rudy Gay in Sacramento.
Now, the Kings and general manager Pete D'Alessandro are throwing something else at Gay in an effort to sway his decision on exercising his contract option next season.
According to Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears, Gay will be in Sacramento early next week to meet with the Kings front office and a couple of Hall of Famers - the team's Advisor to the Chairman, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond - who reportedly plan to pitch the Kings to the small forward.
"Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, a former Kings star, are expected to join Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone when they meet with Gay."
"Gay was originally expected to have the meeting in his offseason home of Memphis, but preferred to have it in Sacramento."
The new downtown arena, which is scheduled to open in 2016, also will be part of the pitch.
"During the meetings, the Kings also will have Gay wear a headset with eyewear that will give him a complete virtual digital tour of the inside of the new Kings arena, including the locker room and arena floor."
When the offseason began, D'Alessandro talked about how the initial plan when the Kings traded for Gay last season was to get him in Sacramento and spend the rest of the season "recruiting" him to stay while he was on the team. That process will continue now that the deadline for Gay to make a decision on whether to opt out of a contract that would pay him $19.3 million next season is less than a month away.
His options, of course, are to remain with the Kings next season and collect that $19.3 million or opt out and become a free agent and/or try to get a long-term deal with the Kings (or another team).
Gay is an obvious talent and one of the best small forwards the franchise has ever had. The Kings need to pull out all of the stops to try to lure, land and retain talent and that is what they are doing here.
Gay averaged 20.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals with a 48 percent field goal percentage last season in 55 games with the the Kings.
As a comparison, he are the stats from Peja Stojakovic's and Metta World Peace's (Ron Artest) best seasons with the Kings - the team's best small forwards in recent years.
Peja Stojakovic (2003-04) - 24 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and shot 48 percent from the field (he also shot 43 percent from three).
Ron Artest (2007-08) - 20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and shot 45 percent from the field (he also averaged 2.3 steals per game).