We’ve been hearing various versions of the same ‘Rudy Gay is available’ narrative from trusted Kings sources and less-trustworthy-but-very-much-plugged-in national sources over the last couple of weeks, and now ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Sacramento Kings are willing to trade Rudy Gay in the "right deal".
Marc Stein, Via ESPN -
The Sacramento Kings are indeed willing to trade Rudy Gay, sources say, after fairly frequent speculation on that topic in recent weeks.
It's conditional willingness.
Sacramento is said to be seeking a quality young player in return if it parts with Gay. Or a player they like with at least one year left on his contract after this season, which would give the Kings some insulation against trading for someone in February who turns around and leaves town in July. (Gay, 29, is scheduled to earn $13.3 million from the Kings next season before he's forced to decide on a $14.3 million player option in 2017-18).
In short: Sacramento isn't outright trying to move Gay but would be willing to do so in the proverbial "right deal."
Sacramento, for example, rejected New Orleans' recent offer of Eric Gordon and Alonzo Gee for Gay before Gordon suffered a fractured finger that will keep him out until after the deadline. They don't want to move him just for the sake of it.
Marc Stein is an excellent source for this kind of news, just in case you had any reservations about its accuracy.
We've now heard, at the very least, 'rumblings' of a Rudy Gay move from Aaron Bruski, James Ham, Adrian Wojnarowski, and now Marc Stein. Whether or not a trade happens remains to be seen, but there is way to much smoke here to suggest that there is no fire.
If I'm allowed to speculate for a minute, I'd suggest that this is exactly how you put someone on the block. If you aren't trading a player, silence is how you address that. If you are trading a player, or trying to find the right trade partner, the phrase 'willing, if it's the right deal' is exactly how you want that message out there, if it has to be out there.
Stein added some context for what the Kings are looking for. We now know the Kings rejected the Pelicans' offer of Eric Gordon and Alonzo Gee for Rudy Gay (I wouldn't have hated that deal, for the record), but it gives us an idea of what kind of package the Kings are looking for, AKA something better than Gordon and Gee. Stein also revealed that the Kings are looking for a 'quality young player', or someone that will be under contract past this season. If true, you can cross out frequently-requested Pelicans sharpshooting forward, and Sacramento local, Ryan Anderson, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.