Rudy Gay feels he won't get the same value in the open market.
The Sacramento Kings forward used his player option of his contract for a final run with the Kings and will earn approximately $19.3 million for the last year of his contract.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the re-signing of Gay to a contract extension is one of the priorities of the team. With his opting into the final year of the contract, the team's management and Gay's agent, Alex Saratsis are hopeful that the former Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors player will engage in a long term extension to stay with the franchise come July 1st.
Both sides continue to heap praises for each other as the Kings have not been shy of their love for Gay and his ability to lead the young team into playoff contention. On the other hand, Gay's camp has been impressed with the ability of new owner Vivek Ranadive's commitment to putting ut a team that can contend for the NBA title.
The Kings have franchise cornerstone Demarcus Cousins is locked up for three more years after signing a four-year $62 million dollar extension with the club. They also have to make decisions with starting point guard Isaiah Thomas who is a free agent and may command big bucks in the open market. The Kings have been mum on their plans for the starting guard.
However, they are high on Gay who gave them solid production last year in 55 games posting 20 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists at 48 percent shooting, a career high. Said production came after they acquired the sweet shooting forward from Toronto in a seven player deal.
However, Gay's decision to opt in the final year of the contract affects the flexibility in terms of cap space for the club. The behemoth salary would likely mean that the Kings will have difficulty re-signing Thomas or acquiring help through free agency. This would be the main reason for the rumours that Sacramento is shopping the 8th pick in the draft for proven players who can bring the Kings into the playoffs.
This development bottlenecks the options of the Kings yet they are still hopeful, improvement can come within and Gay can lead the way.