Russell Westbrook might need more than just his usual cast of supporting characters next season. The Oklahoma City Thunder could pursue a player who was once comparable to Kevin Durant.
Despite his productive run with the Sacramento Kings, there are rumors that Rudy Gay is very much available in the trade market. The Kings reportedly want to replace him with a ball-dominant shooting guard.
Gay averaged 17.2 points, 1.7 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. He shot 46.3 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, as per Basketball Reference.
The 6-foot-8 wingman can opt out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent in 2017. The Kings would be wise to ship him before the trading deadline or risk losing him for nothing next summer.
According to Sir Charles In Charge, the Thunder would need to give up Kyle Singler, Anthony Morrow and another high-value asset to acquire Gay. Thunder general manager Sam Presti might be hesitant to trade for a potential one-year rental, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
As of the moment, the Thunder don’t have much firepower at the small forward spot. Gay would be a considerable upgrade over Kyle Singler and Josh Huestis.
He is nowhere near Durant’s level, but he is a lethal scorer who commands defensive attention. His presence would lighten Westbrook’s offensive burden.
Gay is set to be paid $13.3 million this upcoming season. Acquiring his contract would give the Thunder financial leverage moving forward. If he does opt out of his deal in 2017, the Thunder would have extra money to sign a superstar partner for Westbrook next summer, Thunderous Intentions reported.
Oklahoma City native Blake Griffin has a player option for the 2017-18 season. The Thunder would heavily pursue him if he decides to test free agency.