Rudy Gay, the Sacramento Kings forward, has been on the trading block for the better part of the year. While the Kings are expected to trade Gay before the start of the new season, no deal is imminent.
Earlier this week, the Miami Herald reported that there is mutual interest between Gay and the Miami Heat, who lost franchise player Dwayne Wade in free agency this summer.
Besides the Heat, the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have also been linked with Gay.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Rockets have shown interest in trading for Gay. “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.”
Miami beat writer Barry Jackson wrote: “According to an associate, the Heat is among teams that very much appeal to Sacramento forward Rudy Gay, who has been available in trades.
“But Miami likely lacks the tradable assets to acquire him if it wanted to and his $14.2 million player option for 2017-18 is worrisome. Players signed this month in free agency cannot be traded until Dec. 15.”
Rudy Gay: Worth a one-year rental?
Gay, who averaged 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds last season, signed a three-year, $40 million contract extension with the Kings in November 2014. However, Gay has a player option before the 2017-18 season, meaning the team that trades for him will be acquiring a one-year rental.
In such a scenario, teams will be reluctant to give up valuable assets for Gay, who saw a major dip in production last season, and is viewed as a defensive liability by several analysts.
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Realistically, the Heat don’t have any assets to give up for Gay. Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic are their three best players and franchise cornerstones. Justise Winslow is untouchable.
Josh McRoberts’ $5.7 million contract isn’t enough to acquire Gay. And the likes of Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson, who signed new contracts this summer, can’t be moved until December 15
What can Heat offer?
At this stage, it’s highly unlikely that Heat are able to acquire Gay, unless the Sacramento Kings and the veteran forward reach an agreement on a buyout and place him on a stretch provision.
According to CBS Sports, a package of McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Josh Richardson could land Miami the services of Gay. “The only deal that makes sense just from a standpoint of matching the contracts is McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Josh Richardson for Gay,” wrote Zach Harper.
Where will Rudy Gay end up before the start of the new season? The Kings seem determined to move him. But will they get the right price?