The Sacramento Kings have agreed in principal with the Toronto Raptors on a seven-player blockbuster deal that brings Rudy Gay to the Kings, according to various media reports. The Kings reportedly will trade John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez to the Raptors in exchange for Gay, center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy. The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Sacramento will send John Salmons, Vasquez, Patterson and Hayes to the Raptors, sources tell Yahoo Sports. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 9, 2013
Gay, a seven-year veteran out of UConn, is averaging 19.4 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Raptors this year, but is shooting just 38.8% from the field. Gay has proven scoring ability, but has struggled with his efficiency. He’s taking 18.6 shots per game this season, more than any Kings player this season. He spent six years in Memphis before coming over to Toronto last season.
The Raptors, according to various reports, were eager to move on from Gay and his two-year, $37.1 million dollar contract. Gay is owed $17.8 million this season and has a player option for $19.3 million next season. If he declines the option, he would become a free agent.
Toronto, meanwhile, clears massive capspace for next season—among the traded Kings, only Hayes has a guaranteed contract next season. Vasquez, Patterson and Salmons are all set to become free agents. Only $1 million of Salmons’ $7 million salary for next season is guaranteed
Gray and Acy, while not possessing the name value Gay brings, give the Kings solid bench talents. Gray, a 6’11, six-year veteran from Pittsburgh, gives the Kings some depth in the middle behind star DeMarcus Cousins. He’s averaging 1.3 points and 2 rebounds a game for the Raptors this season. Acy, a second year player from Baylor, is a 6’7 small forward known for his defense. He’s averaging 2.7 points and 2.1 boards a game this year.
The lineup ramifications for Sacramento remain unclear, but the one certainty is that the departure of Vasquez leaves the point guard spot up to Isaiah Thomas. Thomas has played off the bench so far this season for the Kings and has averaged 17.8 points and 4.9 assists, and now is a lock for the starting job. Vasquez, acquired from New Orleans in the offseason, averaged 9.8 points and 5.8 assists in his 18 games as a Kings but struggled nightly on the defensive end.
While Gay has been a small forward for most of his career, Spears reports the Kings expect to try him out as a stretch power forward.
Kings plan on using Rudy Gay as a stretch power forward & see Gay & Derrick Williams as interchangeable guarding either forward, source says
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) December 9, 2013
For in-depth analysis on the deal, stay tuned to A Royal Pain for more updates.