Who Gets Dealt Next Month: Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, or Kosta Koufos?


The Sacramento Kings now have 18 players under contract. If Isaiah Cousins and Georgios Papagiannis are sent for nurturing to Reno, they will still have 16 under contract and something still needs to happen.

The NBA requires a minimum roster of 14 and a maximum of 15 players.

This means that players like Ben McLemoreRudy Gay or Kosta Koufos need to be traded, waived, or bought out.

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McLemore’s shot beyond the arc is a so-so thing. “Kamikaze McLemore” drives to the hoop often have the finesse of a bowling ball. He is young enough to still find his game, but it may be in Shanghai.

Then there is Koufos, where having a skilled 7-foot defensive center who has difficulty converting tip-ins isn’t worth having on the roster. Especially considering his contract worth around $8 million a season.

Finally, there is Rudy Gay who has been the subject of a relentless rumor mill all summer. If he’s traded, can the Kings get a first-round draft pick in return? His expiring salary for the 2016-17 season is $12.4 million, a bargain for a classy 30-year-old small forward who can hit the short three or attack the basket.

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The Kings, should they win enough games to have the 11th draft pick or lower next summer, would have no first-round pick in 2017. Yikes! Which playoff-bound team has a first-round pick for 2017 and would offer in exchange for Gay?

The idea of dealing Gay in the near future sounds a bit extreme, but considering the roster circumstances and the recent news that Gay is opting out next season, the Kings may have no choice.

Trading Gay would leave Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi to play the three, where both are real talents. I also nominate Skal Labissiere to play some small forward (how small is 6 feet 11 inches?). He showed off his three-point ability this summer, though not in his one year at Kentucky.

Stay tuned Kings fans: Something is going to happen and very soon.