Sacramento Kings’ forward Rudy Gay has informed team management that he plans to exercise his 2017 player option and become an unrestricted free agent, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports’ The Vertical. The aforementioned report further explains that Gay is unlikely to renegotiate a deal with Sacramento.
This news follows months of trade talks surrounding the forward as well. In July, Gay voiced his displeasure with the Kings’ handling of the situation in an interview with SB Nation’s Sactown Royalty.
“I mean [the rumors have] been pretty loud as of late so it’s hard not to pay attention to it. I think it just goes to, I don’t know, I think there’s always ways to do things and in this situation I don’t think it’s going about the right way. No matter what your intentions to do with your players, I would think the first thing you want to do is make sure people are happy with what you are doing. That hasn’t been the case.”
Gay is set to make $13.3 million in 2016-2017 and $14.3 million if he were to return for the 2017-2018 season with his player option. The announcement that he will not return could increase the pressure for the Kings to work out a trade in the coming months.
To this point, the Kings have reportedly been seeking a substantial return for the 30-year-old forward. However, as a result of his player option, potential buyers are likely wary of parting with too much in return for just a potential rental.
In over two seasons with the Kings, Gay has averaged 19.4 points and 2.5 blocks per game. As he has throughout his NBA career, he continues to shoot three pointers at a high rate despite an underwhelming level of success from beyond the arc.