Rudy Gay: Is He An Option For The Brooklyn Nets?


Rudy Gay was deemed an odd fit from the moment the Sacramento Kings traded for him. Gay never meshed well with Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins. Rondo is gone and Gay only has two years left on his deal.

It doesn’t take a lot of basketball knowledge to know that the Sacramento Kings and the Brooklyn Nets had underwhelming seasons last year.

While both teams were unsuccessful, they were unsuccessful in different ways. The Nets were lacking talent, and the Kings were lacking team chemistry and identity.

Last year, the Kings’ nucleus of players included DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison, and Rudy Gay. That’s not half-bad on paper. However, they still missed the playoffs by eight games, extending their postseason drought to 10 years (the second-longest active drought in the NBA). The talent may be there on paper, but clearly the team is lacking chemistry and identity, as that talent did not transfer into wins.

The Nets, on the other hand, just simply couldn’t get anything going with lack of unity and talent. They posted a disappointing record of 21-61 and for the most part, struggled on both sides of the ball. They were 26th in the league in points for, and 24th in the league in points against. Point blank, the Nets just need more talent and need a different group of players on the floor.

Whether they want to hear it or not, the Kings need to start over and build their team around Cousins (which so far, based on their draft, isn’t working out too well). Rondo left and signed with Chicago, and now, the Kings are reportedly shopping Rudy Gay.

Rudy Gay
Mar 27, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) dunks the ball against the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 133-111. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY. /

Enter Brooklyn Nets.

From the Nets perspective, going after Gay is a no-brainer.


While age is concern with Rudy Gay, as he is approaching the age of 30, he’s still playing solid basketball. He averaged 17 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, all while shooting 46.3% from the field. The year before, he averaged a career best 21.1 points per game. While he may be approaching the back nine of his career, he could definitely have a positive impact on the Nets. Last season, Brooklyn was 23rd in the league in scoring and efficiency from the small-forward position, according to Gay would provide immediate help.

Again, the most important thing is that Rudy Gay would certainly provide the talent that the Nets are lacking.

Plus, the Nets could use a guy to take some pressure off of Lopez. Although Lopez has been pretty consistent for the Nets over the course of his career despite the change in surrounding players, the Nets have statistically had success when they had other stars surrounding him.

With Deron Williams and a younger Joe Johnson, the Nets made the playoffs three seasons in a row spanning from 2013 to 2015. To make it more impressive, they did so despite losing Lopez for most of the 2014 season due to injury.

As a unit, Gay, Lopez, and Jeremy Lin could channel some of the team’s winning seasons from the past few years. Not to mention, the move would excite Nets fans and would most certainly increase team support.

Of course though, to acquire Gay, the Nets need to give something up in return. It would make the most sense for the Nets to only offer Bojan Bogdanović and a second-round pick. The salary cap will continue to rise, and Gay has a player option for $14.2 million in 2017-18. If the deal doesn’t work out, the Nets will still have salary cap flexibility in free agency. If they deal does turn out well for Brooklyn, then Gay could re-sign with the team and they would still have cap space.

If the Nets were to trade Bogdanović and a second-round pick for Gay, it would give the Kings a young small-forward to potentially replace Gay’s position in the long run. Bogdanovic was selected 31st overall in the 2011 draft and has potential, which would intrigue the Kings. In the meantime, though, the Kings could have veterans Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes (the team’s two remaining small-forwards). Sacramento added the veteran Barnes this offseason, which could be a sign the team has prepared to get rid of Rudy Gay.

Again, the Kings need to virtually start over and this would be a step in the right direction for them. While giving up Rudy Gay isn’t the easiest decision, it would make a lot of sense for them when thinking about the future.

Next: Brook Lopez Deserves More Appreciation

It’s in the Nets’ best interest to capitalize on opportunities. There may be an opportunity with Rudy Gay.