Rudy Gay has come up again and again in trade rumors.
The Kings forward doesn’t seem thrilled with that.
Gay, in a Q&A with Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty:
You mentioned people are wondering if you are going to be here next season. I imagine you are like most of the guys in the league and try not to pay attention to that stuff, but do you pay attention to trade rumors and does it bother you?
I mean it’s 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.
So you haven’t had much communication with the franchise as far as your future?
No, I haven’t. I’ve had communication, but not the kind of communication that I would say I like.
If you had your ideal communication situation, what would you like to hear from the franchise?
You don’t want to hear things on the internet, on Twitter. You would like to hear it from out of the horse’s mouth. Just be upfront with people, that’s all you have to do.
Toward the end of the last couple of seasons you have made it clear you don’t think the franchise has a direction. I assume you still feel that way. What do you think the direction of the team is right now?
I have no idea. I suit up and give it my all. That’s all I can do in this situation, that’s all you can do. Go out there and play as much as you can. Obviously, we don’t have anything to really build on. We have a new coach. I think that’s the only thing we can really build on. New coach and seeing how it plays out.
Remember, this is only Gay’s side of the story. The Kings might have a different point of view.
But after repeatedly putting players in unfavorable positions, Sacramento probably doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Beyond communication issues, the Kings are likely having a tough time dealing Gay. He’s owed $13,333,333 this season and has a $14,263,566 player option for 2017-18. That’s not egregious, but it’s also not great value for someone who perpetually produces short of his athletic capabilities. Gay having Achilles surgery this offseason — revealed in the same interview — doesn’t help. He’ll turn 30 next month.
Sacramento, trying to win a reasonable amount as it opens a new arena, probably isn’t ready just to dump Gay and turn the small forward position over to Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes. Even if he’s just an average player, Gay can still help.
This is clearly an imperfect partnership between Gay and the Kings. But both sides might have to endure a little longer.
Sacramento — if nothing else, for the sake of its own reputation — should probably do more so Gay doesn’t feel like staying is such a burden.