Multiple NBA trade rumors have been squarely focused on the Sacramento Kings this week. The Sporting News reports that Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, and Kosta Koufos are all being shopped around the league.
When point guard Rajon Rondo chose to leave the Kings to sign with the Chicago Bulls, it began a revamping of the Kings’ roster that is still not complete. Sacramento has since made some solid, but unspectacular signings by bringing in forward Matt Barnes, forward Anthony Tolliver, and guard Garrett Temple.
The Kings are looking to further retool their roster by trading away three players who performed significant roles for the team in 2015-16.
Report: Kings’ Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos available via trade https://t.co/OjvqCJssUk
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 8, 2016
Rudy Gay is still a productive offensive player, but he didn’t appear to be a good fit in Sacramento, particularly last season. According to the Inquisitr, Gay wants out of Sacramento, and the team is willing to pursue a deal for him. He is also going into the final year of his current contract, and if he is not dealt by the Kings before it expires, most observers feel that Rudy Gay will leave Sacramento as a free agent in 2017.
Ben McLemore has been a disappointment since being a highly-touted draft pick out of the University of Kansas. However, he has shown flashes of star potential, and he may be able to blossom if given an opportunity to start over elsewhere.
Kosta Koufos had a good showing in his first season in Sacramento, but in order to build the roster to their liking, the Kings may have to move Koufos as part of a trade package.
There have been a number of recent NBA trade rumors involving Sacramento and their available players. The Sixer Sense opines that Philadelphia could make a deal for either Gay or McLemore. ESPN names the Chicago Bulls as a team interested in exploring a trade for Rudy Gay. There have also been rumored discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers, among others.
Sports Illustrated points out that the Kings already have the pieces on their roster to replace Gay and McLemore. Matt Barnes should ease the loss of Rudy Gay if he is traded, and the combination of Garrett Temple and 2016 draft choice Malachi Richardson will take the minutes currently being played by McLemore if he is no longer with Sacramento next season.
If these NBA trade rumors weren’t enough, let’s not forget that deals for star center DeMarcus Cousins are reportedly being discussed as well, per the Inquisitr. It certainly seems that the Sacramento Kings are in full rebuild mode, even if the enigmatic Cousins stays with the team.
Should the Cavs go after DeMarcus Cousins? pic.twitter.com/oFYtiTtCKa
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) July 8, 2016
Rudy Gay has been in the NBA since 2006, when he was the eighth overall selection in that year’s NBA Draft by Houston. However, Gay never played for the Rockets, as he was dealt two weeks later to Memphis. While never having made an NBA All-Star team, Gay has been one of the most productive scorers in the league for over a decade, with a career average of 18.4 points per game. The 29-year-old seems to have some good years ahead of him, even after 12 seasons in the league.
Ben McLemore was thought to have superstar potential when he was drafted by the Kings in 2013, but he has yet to find his way. His best year so far was 2014-15, when he averaged 12.1 points per contest on 36 percent three-point shooting. Kosta Koufos has been a career backup center during his eight years in the NBA, but has shown he can provide solid minutes off the bench with his low-post skills.
Many of the current NBA trade rumors that are circulating around the league are linked to the Sacramento Kings. Considering their 33-49 record last year, it would seem they have nowhere to go but up.
[Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]