Veteran swingman Rudy Gay has chosen to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Sacramento Kings. Gay will become a free agent, which is to the surprise of many as he was set to make over $14 million in the 2017-2018 season.
Rudy Gay officially declines his $14.3 Million Player Option with the Kings becoming an unrestricted free agent.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 12, 2017
What makes the move even more head-scratching is that Gay tore his achillies tendon in January ending his season. With career averages of 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, plenty of teams will be lining up for the Baltimore native’s services.
By choosing not to take the guaranteed $14 million this season it seems that Gay is more interested in winning than getting paid. Across his 11 NBA seasons, the 30-year-old forward has only made the playoffs once with the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2011-2012 season. After spending his first five seasons in Memphis he was traded to the Toronto Raptors where his tenure was cut short by an abrupt move to Sacramento.
With good size, 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, and the ability to score at an elite level, Gay would have been perfect for the forever rebuilding Kings. Gay had been open about his desire to leave Sacramento, telling people inside basketball circles and even the media about the dysfunction of the organization. While it may seem the opt-out was inevitable, the Achilles injury changed things, as it seems hard to imagine a team giving him more than what he could have made in the final year of his contract.
Can confirm this — Gay has made official what many reported in May he planned to do. He’s a free agent. https://t.co/IQwYpfiCG7
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 12, 2017
In December, HoopsNations own Darrin Burrell wrote on the state of Gay’s career and what the next move was. It seems likely that Gay will move to a potential contender in order to taste some postseason success. Gay will be 31-years-old when the season starts.