It's time once again for our annual series "30Q" in which we answer 30 questions over the course of September as we get ready for the upcoming season.
The Sacramento Kings have assembled a roster full of questions, and Rudy Gay may be the biggest unknown on the roster. Rudy saw his role on the team marginalized under George Karl, and struggled with nagging injuries. It was a disappointing season for the Kings forward, and left Rudy so frustrated that he spoke publicly about his frustration during the summer. Those feelings may be subsided, as Gay and Kings GM Vlade Divac spoke and reportedly cleared the air, but the questions remain. What will happen with Rudy Gay?
It’s a bit strange to even be having this discussion at this point. Entering the offseason, most Kings fans expected that the team would trade Rudy Gay. He was in multiple trade rumors, and it’s clear the Kings were shopping him. Yet as the offseason went on it became clear that the Kings weren’t going to give Rudy away, and were content to keep him if they couldn’t get what they perceived to be a fair return.
But for now Rudy is still a King, so what can we expect from him?
Rudy’s offseason treatment for his lingering heel issue is a boost to Rudy’s athleticism, defense, and overall play. Gay returns to form as the explosive and dynamic player that first arrived in Sacramento and won over Kings fans. The team plays well and rebuilds some chemistry, and Rudy happily remains a King.
Last season was the beginning of the end of Rudy Gay. Rudy turned 30 this summer, and players can drop off quickly in their 30s. This isn’t to suggest that Rudy would become completely worthless as a player, but that he would continue his decline and would never again be the player Sacramento originally traded for.
A trade still seems the most likely case for Rudy. He’ll come out and play well, even if he doesn’t play much better than last season. The Kings will lower their asking price, or another team will become more desperate for help and increase their offer. Rudy and the Kings move on from each other, hopefully to the benefit of both parties.