Rudy Gay Ready for a Resurgence?


The Sacramento Kings are no strangers to helping save NBA careers. I mean, arguably, the best player in the Sac-era could tell you all about that. Why can’t the same hold true for Rudy Gay? Gay, now 28, is the prime example of a player ready for a resurgence.

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Feb 5, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay (8) reacts after scoring against the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Gay was traded to the Kings last season along with Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, both of whom are no longer on the team’s roster, for Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez. For many Kings fans, it gave us a glimmer of hope, a bright light to a season free-falling fast just about 20 games into the season, but for Toronto Raptors fans, it was a farewell many were grateful for.

Since being sent from the Memphis Grizzlies to Toronto at the beginning of 2013, Gay didn’t do much to impress fans, with a .411 shooting percentage Gay struggled to score 19 points-per-game on more than 17 shots per, according to Basketball Reference. Gay also had a 96 ORtg in his 51 games in Toronto, compared to a career average of 103 ORtg during his eight seasons in the NBA. Gay also only accounted for 1.9 win shares while with the Raptors.

Now, compare those stats to his with the Kings last season: In 55 games, Gay averaged 20 points a game on only 15 shots, good for a .482 FG%, the highest of his career. Gay also found himself at the line 5.4 times per-game, which was also a career best. Additionally, Gay had 4.5 win shares and an ORtg of 108 while in Sacramento.

During the off-season, Gay picked up his player option, which allowed him to remain with the Kings, and pocket over $19 million in the process. With Gay remaining with the Kings, it gave the team the wing threat they’ve missed since Metta Ron World Artest Peace left in 2008. It also gave DeMarcus Cousins a scorer to help draw some attention away from him. With Rudy’s slashing ability, he will surely reap the benefits of Boogie’s keen eye in the post, and with the Kings adding Nik Stauskas in the 2014 draft and Omri Casspi in the off-season, it won’t be as easy for opposing defenses to cheat off the corner shooters. Once again, this leaves some space for Gay to work his magic and get to the rim, and the foul line.

It’s a recipe for success for not only Gay, but for the Kings.

*insert “Rudy” chant here*