There has been rampant speculation throughout the summer that the Sacramento Kings could part ways with swingmen Rudy Gay and/or Ben McLemore. In an appearances on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Tuesday, though, Kings general manager Vlade Divac said that the team plans to keep both players (via Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk).
“Just joking around the other day, I apologized for him to – I said, ‘We like you so much, that’s why we decided to keep you here.’ Rudy is a tremendous talent. He’s somebody that is beautiful to watch, the way he plays. We think Rudy is a big, big part of this team to be successful. So, we decide to go with him. And if he decides to stay next year, that’s great. If he decides to leave, that’s fine. But we want to make sure we compete this year.”
And on McLemore:
“It’s part of business. You’re going to receive a lot of calls. You’re going to make a lot of calls. We are very happy with Ben, the way he’s progressing this summer. He’s a very young player that we – like I said – we like a lot. So, we’re going to keep him.”
Gay made headlines in September when Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that he planned to opt-out of the final year of his deal with the Kings, worth over $14 million in 2017-18. That news fueled talk that the Kings would look to trade the high-scoring wing as opposed to losing him for nothing as a free agent, but Divac seems to think Gay can help the Kings win in 2016-17.
As for McLemore, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported last week that the Kings rejected a trade offer from the Milwaukee Bucks that would’ve brought point guard Michael Carter-Williams to Sacramento in exchange for McLemore. The fourth-year guard hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since the Kings made him the seventh pick in the draft back in 2013. He saw his role decrease heavily last season, and he averaged career-lows in both minutes (21.2) and points per game (7.8).