Sacramento Kings acquire Rudy Gay from Toronto
Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings both want the same thing: a fresh start.
They’re hoping they can create one together.
The seven-player trade sending Gay from the Toronto Raptors to Sacramento was completed Monday, a day after the teams reached an agreement. The Raptors received point guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. The Kings also acquired center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy.
"Excited to say the least," Gay told reporters in Sacramento before the Kings hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. "I have a couple guys with me that came with me. It’s a new beginning. I’ve been saying it all day. They have a lot of young pieces and I’m glad to be a part of it."
Gay, Gray and Acy were not in uniform for the Kings against Dallas. They are expected to take physicals Tuesday, and the Kings are hoping they will be available against Utah on Wednesday night in Sacramento.
It was the second major move for the Kings this season as they begin rebuilding under new owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone. Sacramento sent Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for Derrick Williams on Nov. 26, and more deals are likely before the season’s over.
"This is the NBA and I expect the unexpected," Malone said
The latest trade will reshape the roster — and the payroll — even more.
Gay is making $17.8 million this season. He holds a $19.3 million player option for the 2014-15 season, which he’s widely expected to exercise.
It’s just the kind of financial risk Ranadive has said he’s willing to take — and the Maloof family that previously owned the team wouldn’t — to try to turn the Kings into a winner.
"We need players here in Sacramento and that’s just the bottom line," said D’Alessandro, who praised the owner’s financial backing on the trade. "We’ve had a lot of really good backups for a long time and now we are acquiring starters. That’s the first step."
Sacramento entered Monday night with a 5-13 record, losing six straight until beating the NBA-worst Jazz on Saturday night. The Kings are hoping Gay can provide immediate help — and give fans a reason to keep showing up — while building around him and center DeMarcus Cousins, who received a four-year, $62 million extension before the season.
Gay, who was traded from Memphis to Toronto last season, is in his eighth NBA season. He’s averaging 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his career, but is shooting 38.8 percent this season, the lowest of his career.
The deal also moves up Sacramento’s backcourt rotation. Isaiah Thomas will start at point guard in Vasquez’s place, with Jimmer Fredette and rookie Ray McCallum moving up behind him.
For the Raptors, parting ways with Gay gives them future financial flexibility. Of the four players going to Toronto, only Hayes has a deal that extends beyond this season. He’s due about $5.9 million next season.
The Raptors also waived guard D.J. Augustin on Monday. He was signed as a free agent in July.
The trade is by far the biggest and boldest for first-year Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, who previously worked with D’Alessandro in Denver. Toronto (7-12) had lost five straight until beating the Los Angeles Lakers 106-94 Sunday night, and the franchise is only at the beginning of a rebuilding process that’s likely years from completion.
Ujiri said none of the team’s new players will play be available for Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio.