Rudy Gay sorting through options about next season

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com


VIDEO: Rudy Gay drops 30 points on Dallas Saturday night

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – He says he has not made a decision on the $19.3 million on the table or whether he wants to remain with the Kings at any price. He has so not made a decision, Rudy Gay insists, that he is asked to list a couple factors that will go into the final call and responds, “I don’t know.”

It is long after another loss at Sleep Train Arena, this time to the Knicks, in a near-empty locker room after most teammates have left. Gay is sitting in front of his stall, showered and changed and contemplating the unexpected search for career stability.

Memphis for 6 ½ seasons, and then suddenly Toronto and Sacramento in a little more than 10 months, and the career intersection over whether to stay in the current contract with $19.3 million on the books for 2014-15 or declare himself a free agent is approaching. In that setting, feeling so undefined about the future is actually understandable.

“What does my gut tell me?” Gay says of the looming decision and possibly decisions, plural. “I don’t know. My gut tells me different things every day.”

There is this, though: A lot of his comments land on the side of staying with the Kings, whether under the existing deal or by becoming a free agent that would mean giving back a large portion of the next season’s money in exchange for a the security of a larger payout over longer time. It’s light years from Gay committing to Sacramento — and in fact he says he doesn’t want to put numbers on the chances he stays “because right now I’m giving it my all and for me to tell them I’m going to be gone next year, that wouldn’t be fair” — but it is interesting.

Being 28 at the start of next training camp and being on a team that just finished at or very near the bottom of the Western Conference? “I’m not the age right now where I just have to be on a championship team,” he says. “Right now, I’m at the age where I can still make a good team great. Rebuilding, I possibly could do that too. Those are the things I have to weigh. Do I want to be on the rebuilding side? Do I want to make a good team great?”

Wanting to feel a connection where he works and lives? “These people have been so great to me. They’ve been really great to me, to my family. They’ve been great. The coaches have all welcomed with me with open arms. Everybody in the organization. Vivek (Ranadive), he’s a great owner. I think this team will be good in the future. I do think so. I’m not throwing out the notion that I will be here. They know that they have a chance of me being here.”

The thought of another life change? “It’s tough moving around when you have a family. I have a kid on the way. It’s tough. I want to be settled, obviously, and I want to be comfortable. That has a lot to do with it.” (Which is double-sided, of course. Gay may decide to hit free agency now to get the next move out of the way, rather than another season in Sacramento and the open market in summer 2015.)

And the money. Of course the money. No way he walks away from $19.3 million, right? He’s staying in the deal and will be a King at least next season, right?

“I don’t think about that at all,” he says. “I love this game. I don’t play it for money. Obviously it’s a very big plus that we make a lot to play this game, but I think it’s more important to be happy.”

But people say no one leaves that kind of money on the table.

“They’re not in the NBA,” Gay says. “Those people don’t do the job and work as hard as I do.”

So it is possible he trades the $19.3 million for a longer deal now rather than postponing the life decision another season.

“Everything’s possible. I work hard. I work very hard. I feel as though when you work hard and you do things the right way, at the end of the day you will be rewarded. Whether it’s taking that year or whether it’s opting out and signing a new contract, I feel like I will be rewarded for my hard work.”

Because either outcome is possible. Because he said he has not made a decision.

“I think I can have a future here for sure,” Gay says. “For sure. With the people we have in the front office, with the coaches, I definitely fit in here. It’s just when you get here, you’re set and you’re settled and everything’s blown over, when you have your contract and everything’s set, no matter where you are, it’s just where do we go from there? I’m looking forward to weighing my options.”

35 Comments

  1. jake s. says:

    New Orleans, Detroit, or Boston for ru-gay.

  2. Dizz says:

    His not worth $19million honestly, he should take around $8mil an come to Dallas! Im pretty sure Devin Harris will be starting next year, him an monta ellis, rudy gay, an Dirk and hoping that they get Gortat too. Would be a beast offensive team!!
    #MAVSfan

  3. Mr.C says:

    He needs to come to New Orleans, they need a SF who can score!!!

  4. John says:

    The knicks should look at rudy gay for the right price. Rudy gay used to be a better payer then Kevin kurant during all those seasons Memphis had huge playoff runs! Rudy gay used to be as clutch as Kobe Bryant ! Now rudy gay is not worth being a max player due to injury and a huge decline in his performance. He is worth a 5 year deal worth 50 million at beat right now.

  5. josey says:

    I guess he would b a great sidekick because teams AREN’T going to build around him! He aint got no DEFENSE to SPEAK of! The bulls could probably use him!! He is a small forward who can score some points! But stop somebody????????

  6. marty says:

    Not a lot of comments from purists..A lot of bias against the Heat even when blatant calls go against them.Most comments made are from irrational trolls!

  7. Juan vazquez says:

    Come back to memphis with a smaller contract. You Randolph gasol Lee and Conley would be an awesome lineup then prince Allen Davis Miller off the bench would be dominate

  8. Fefe (Nets) says:

    I like Rudy Gay. To me he is a very good player and the knock on him was his efficiency but I think he is working hard to increase this (he has played well in Sac-Town) and he is also focusing on his other aspects of his game. Of course he needs to keep improving but if he works hard he can only improve, especially that he’ll enter his prime years.

    I think that Sacramento can be a good team over a full season with the pieces they have (DeMarcus, Isiah, Ben McLemore, Ray McCallum, Quincy Acy etc…with Gay in the mix). Thomas, Gay & Cousins have been playing well together but with full training camp they should be better. Now the focus has also to be on defense.

  9. Seth Goins says:

    I thought I read an article about Rudy Gay? I guess I need to get my eyes checked because all of these comments are about everything but Rudy Gay.

  10. Royal Fact says:

    What game are you watching where the heat are favored by the refs???? Blind idiots are what you all are. Do yourselfa favor and find a team that can win a champoinship and stop crying like little cute dogs standing in the cold shivering lol The nerve of some of you people. The Heat get hardly any calls going their way and its quite obvious every time LB and D Wade go to the hole and get a couple of Street Fighter moves performed on themselves smh

  11. Rashai Watson says:

    Come To Golden State Need Somebody Else Who Can Play Inside & Out, Imaging It Curry Thompson (Rudy Gay) Lee & A Center Cause Bogut Doesn’t Cut It Im Sorry But He Dont

  12. Cj says:

    People are so quick to bring up the heat.. James harden gets to the line the most along with Kevin durant ! PLEASE STFU ABOUT THE HEAT. Hating is so lame, it’s basketball. Watch, enjoy and stfu, damn .

  13. krishawn-MIA says:

    In the words of the great charles barkely..a lot of these nba fans are idiots, everyone goes blind when the refs make bad calls against the heat but everyone has 20/20 when the refs make calls in favor of them smh idiots

  14. dustydreamnz says:

    I used to think people were just hating the Heat with the dud calls that go their way but I’ve been watching their games lately and the standard is SHOCKING. Today’s game vs the Raptors was the worst I’ve seen, the Raps lost by 10 but I feeldeserved to win. The league need to sort this out now.

  15. THE TRUTH says:

    If the refs truly called the game correctly, a team like this year’s Spurs would win almost every year. Why? Because without biased officiating and purely sticking to the rules of the game, sound fundamentals coupled with teamwork and talent, will win 90% of the time. I agree, the OKC vs. Miami Finals officiating was biased towards the Heat. But I also think the OKC vs. San Antonio Conference Finals was biased toward OKC. San Antonio was not allowed to play as aggressively on defense as OKC was, just like OKC wasn’t allowed to play as aggressively on defense as Miami was. BTW… I am not from San Antonio, but I am a basketball fan… And how the heck can you not appreciate true team basketball at the highest level ala the Spurs? You can’t… unless you’re enamored with the superstar propaganda movement…

  16. vlakkk says:

    Maybe Chicago Bulls will make at least a pitch to get Rudy Gay? Why not? A proper strong and big SF scorer and some defense awareness installed from Thibodeau, maybe will be a good choice?

  17. asdf says:

    Pay me 19.3 Million and ill show you hard work:D

  18. OKC champions 2014-2024 says:

    okc will take care of the refs when they destroy miami in the finals.

    • Allycat says:

      Okc isn’t going to win the finals this year and neither is Miami… Miami has dropped off from what they were and okc can’t win with just kd and Westbrook, they couldn’t even win with harden when they had the chance. I expect there to be two new teams in the finals, though spurs might reach finals again.

    • Popo says:

      No way you’re OKC will be in the Finals, they will be destroyed by the SPURS,

  19. Sam says:

    RUDY, LISTEN TO ME, You are not worth $19.3million. Not even close. Gerald Green is lot better than you and he’s getting $3.5mil. Memphis got rid of you because you’re overpaid, no team will be happy with you at this rate. You need to sign with a team you like at no more than $8mil and stay with them till retirement. You could’ve stayed with Memphis and would’ve been much happier.

  20. The TRUTH HURTS says:

    28 years old

    “I’m not the age right now where I just have to be on a championship team,”

    UUGGHHHH???…..

    Yes you are!!!!

    you may have 5 yrs of prime left..then you are either in or about to seriously decline.
    The time for a real team oppose to what your saying is RIGHT NOW!!!

    the time frame for you, and every one..is closing….as much as The TRUTH HURTS!!!

    • kwakadelik says:

      First off, rudy your not worth 19 mil but you are an about average player, u are a 2 at best u get a lil selfish like melo but melo is melo u need to go to a team lik. Detroit that would make them one of the best defensive teams in the league with there length quickness and ability to block ……. is that truth from xbox live

  21. Dionte Christmas says:

    Come to Boston, Rudy. Jeff Green will be on the chopping block this summer. Also #realtalk about the Heat and fouls. Dwyane “no back to backs” Wade and Lelbron both get And-1s at a ridiculous rate due to flopping and cowardly reffing, respectively.

  22. Not_my_fathers_NBA says:

    Hey Mr. Cooper. How about sharping that pencil and writing your next article on the blatantly biased officiating the refs in the NBA have come to be known for? Yes. I am talking about the Miami Heat game. A sickening display of whistle favoritism; this coming from a normally disrespectful fan.

    Good thing I stopped feeding the NBA coffers with ticket purchases over the last two years, I would never support the current NBA product with my money. Cull out that garbage.

    • HouseBoxCar says:

      Agreed ^ Refs love miami soo much! Its unfair to the league, its like theres

    • RPT says:

      Mr. Cooper is not an unbiased journalist. He is paid by the NBA. Same way Bill O’Reilly doesn’t call out FOX.

    • Robert says:

      That Raptors game? Heck yeah, awful reffing for a stretch in the 3rd quarter that helped put the game comfortably in the Heats hands. About 4 really bad calls in about 1 minute

      • Mars says:

        It’s not only the refs favoring Miami Heat, also the whole NBA management. If you want evidence, go back the the NBA Finals Game 6 against the Spurs last season. San Antonio got robbed.

      • #dwade#flash says:

        @ MARS oh yeah they got robbed, i watched the game over and over again, TImmy D missed that shot purposely for him to miss another Champ ring! and Ginobli made those bad decisions purposely..

        guess what? april fools

    • The TRUTH HURTS says:

      Thats insanely true….watching a heat game is ridiculous, its like the refs are paid to give them every benefit of every doubt!!!

      And im a true baller, live for the game….no hatin on anyone…just a fact

      • KDfan says:

        Welcome to my world where I’ve been writing about refs favoritism toward the Heat time and again. That’s how they denied us, the OKC Thunder, our championship chances in 2012. If they had officiated without bias, OKC had a very good chance that year. But alas, how could a bunch of talented youngsters (OKC Thunder, a small market team) win an NBA championship before THE KING got his ring (especially after the then Commish helped establish the Big 3 for LBJ and the Heat losing despite that to the Mavs in 2011)? If Miami Heat had lost that year, it would have broken up the Big 3 and also denied LBJ’s chances of winning any rings at all. I’m glad more and more fans are awakening to the Refs favoritism towards the Heat. The Refs are also disregarding the Heat floppers too. May the best team win without interference or bias from the Refs.

      • Noit says:

        I like these ref posts. If any team should get benefit of doubt its the Bulls, my gosh they have been annihalated by injuries and refs LITERALLY add insult to injury. I know the fans cry I don’t know how the player don’t.

      • Allycat says:

        @kdfan, you being upset about your team losing to the finals because of the reffing is funny. 2006- mavs were going to win we were up 2-0 dwade and shaq for some reason… We’re getting every all and the mavs nothing… Dirk was so upset that he lost that series-probably because he knew it was rigged too. Us beating the heat in 2011 was so sweet because we beat the heat and the ref and got some very sweet revenge! I hope okc can do that to the heat someday but don’t think it’s this year for you guys… Plus you guys might be playing the mavs first in the playoffs and yes, the mavs are after you guys as well. Wouldn’t be surprised if you guys get knocked out by us.