So says Kings general manager Vlade Divac, via SiriusXM NBA Radio.
Divac on Gay:
Just joking around the other day, I apologized for him to – I said, “We like you so much, that’s why we decided to keep you here.” Rudy is a tremendous talent. He’s somebody that is beautiful to watch, the way he plays. We think Rudy is a big, big part of this team to be successful. So, we decide to go with him. And if he decides to stay next year, that’s great. If he decides to leave, that’s fine. But we want to make sure we compete this year.
Divac on McLemore
It’s part of business. You’re going to receive a lot of calls. You’re going to make a lot of calls. We are very happy with Ben, the way he’s progressing this summer. He’s a very young player that we – like I said – we like a lot. So, we’re going to keep him.
The Kings appear to be misjudging their ability to compete this year. They’re playoff longshots, and fans won’t flock to their new arena because Gay keeps the team moderately bad as opposed to very bad. That said, I don’t know what Sacramento could get for Gay. At a certain point, it makes sense to take that longshot run at the postseason – even if you believe Gay will leave this summer.
Likewise, I don’t have enough information to evaluate keeping McLemore. From what I’ve seen in NBA play, I’d prefer Carter-Williams to McLemore – especially for the Kings, who are a point guard short with Darren Collison suspended. But perhaps McLemore has improved significantly over the offseason in a way evident only within the organization right now.