Earlier this week, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported (yet again!) that the Sacramento Kings are indeed trying to trade both Rudy Gay and Kosta Koufos. ‘Trying’ may be too strong a word, but the Kings have holes, and with Gay’s recent comments expressing some unhappiness with his current situation, and Koufos being somewhat expendable, those are the two most obvious trade chips that could bring in some much-needed help elsewhere.
via Steve Kyler, Basketball Insiders
League sources say while there are teams that have expressed interest in Gay – most notably the Houston Rockets – getting anything of real value back on what could be a one-year rental at Gay’s price tag is hard math to make work.
There is a sense among league insiders that the Kings are not looking for a ton in return for Gay, so that may make finding a deal a little easier even with all the issues surrounding a deal.
The Kings are also believed to be looking at deals involving big man Kostas Koufos, mainly because of the glut of frontcourt players the Kings have, but also because Koufos might actually return something meaningful like a backup point guard.
Kyler notes that Koufos could be moved for a backup point guard. If we’re reading into how Kyler reported this, you could infer that someone is telling him Darren Collison is going to be the starter. We already assumed this considering where the roster is right now, but hey, it’s something. Or maybe I’m taking his report too literally. Who can say?
Of more interest is Kyler’s note that the Houston Rockets are the team expressing the most interest in Rudy Gay.
Rudy would certainly fit Houston’s seemingly all-out offensive approach. It’s unclear who the Kings would target, but considering their previous interest in Patrick Beverley, and the Kings’ need for point guard help, I think it’s a safe assumption that they’ve at least discussed that. Beverley is not a traditional Mike D’Antoni point guard, but Houston is nearly as thin at point as the Kings are, so something else would have to develop there.
James Harden plays a lot of point guard in Houston, and he’s made some comments this summer that have me wondering if D’Antoni’s plan is to have him playing there full, or nearly-full time. I only mention this to say that Houston could conceivably trade for a backup point guard, or sign someone still available, allowing them to trade Beverley knowing Harden is going to play most of his minutes there anyway. We’ll see.
NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman would later speculate that some sort of Trevor Ariza plus Corey Brewer for Rudy Gay swap could make sense, and the salaries do match up. I don’t think that is a particularly good deal for Houston, but here you go.
via Dan Feldman, NBC Sports
Sacramento might want Trevor Ariza in an exchange of small forwards. Houston would probably rather use Corey Brewer as centerpiece of a trade. (Neither player alone would make salaries match, though Gay could be traded for Ariza and Brewer.)
Neither Brewer nor Ariza are stars by any stretch, but they are both decent, versatile players with a history of defensive prowess, on very good contracts considering where the salary cap is right now. Rudy Gay will most likely be a free agent at the end of the season, so I question how much sense that makes for the Rockets. I wouldn’t necessarily call Rudy Gay a better player than Trevor Ariza, anyway, but different strokes for different folks, etc. Gay is certainly a better scorer, I won’t argue that.
Here’s to something happening, though! The Kings absolutely need to address their point guard woes, and the closer we get to the season, the harder that is going to be.