Would Rudy Gay fit with the Oklahoma City Thunder? The NBA trade deadline is a month away, but NBA writers are already beginning to ponder the thought of potential NBA trades. A trade target that stands out the most is Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay. Gay, has been the NBA’s most underrated (or overrated) player the past few years. He’s a career 18.4 points per game scorer, and he’s averaging the same amount of points per game this season for the Sacremento Kings. But, Gay hasn’t found much success as from an individual standpoint, frequently being snubbed for NBA All-star games. But at this point in his career, the 30-year-old swingman could best utilize his talents playing for an NBA title contender.
So, could Gay be a viable option for Oklahoma City? It would definitely take the scoring pressure off of Russell Westbrook, who is enjoying the season of the ages. The Thunder’s second-leading scorer and best player would be Victor Oladipo, who’s averaging 16 points per game. Westbrook is averaging 31 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. Although what Westbrook is doing is nice and what Oladipo is doing is even nicer, an additional scoring talent will help the Thunder compete against the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and even the defending NBA Champions, Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Thunder have been discussing a trade for Gay since the off-season in July, so it wouldn’t shock the NBA if a trade for Gay would happen either before or on the NBA trade deadline. Bleacher Report writer Dan Favale writes about the potential trade.
“Gay has a player option for next season that he’s expected to decline. Mortgaging part of the future for what amounts to a rental isn’t Oklahoma City’s style. Handing a fat contract to a wing on the back end of his prime isn’t in general manager Sam Presti’s repertoire, either.
“But the Thunder need another shot creator and floor spacer. They barely drain 33 percent of their threes when Russell Westbrook is in the game and are getting absolutely wrecked when he takes a seat.”
As stated, Gay’s ability to create shots for himself would greatly benefit the Thunder regarding efficiency and an opportunity to contend for an NBA title. Now, the dealbreaker will be is if the Thunder will be willing to give up certain pieces of their puzzle to complete the trade for Gay.
“Add Gay’s ability to play on or off the ball, and Oklahoma City boosts its offensive appeal with Westbrook, while giving itself a chance to generate scoring without him.
“Giving up Payne is a reasonable price to pay for necessary depth. The Thunder already have a franchise floor general in Westbrook, and the Designated Player Exception in the new collective bargaining agreement makes it unlikely he’ll leave Oklahoma City anytime soon.”
Gay has done enough in his NBA career to which he may never get All-star recognition, but he’s still valuable enough to become an integral piece of a team contending for an NBA title. The Thunder could be the best team to challenge the Warriors in the Western Conference if the trade is actually proposed. The Thunder may elect to stick it out with their current roster, and so could the Kings. But, it wouldn’t hurt the Thunder to explore the option to help bolster their chances for an NBA title.
Gay, as stated before, is nearing the end of his peak and it’s best for Gay and the Thunder to see what’s left in the tank. If Gay is indeed traded to the Thunder, the NBA will graciously thank not only the Kings but the Warriors for bolstering the league and spreading out the talent.
[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo]