Free agency may be all but over, but NBA trade rumors are still taking center stage this off-season. The Sacramento Kings have reportedly been trying to deal Rudy Gay all summer, and a new team has entered the fray as a potential suitor.
According to Sportsrageous, the Houston Rockets are involved in discussions with the Kings regarding a possible trade for small forward Rudy Gay. Reports indicate that Houston may be willing to send a package of players and picks to Sacramento, with wing player Trevor Ariza headlining the rumored offers.The Rockets would probably prefer not to include Ariza in a trade for Gay, as they would compliment each other if they both played for Houston. But, in order to agree to trade a player of Rudy Gay's caliber, the Kings might insist on getting Ariza as part of their compensation. The one issue working in the Rockets' favor, however, is that Sacramento is looking to build for the future. The Kings may be willing to unload Gay for a combination of young players and draft picks, but Ariza would help them both now and in the years to come.
Rudy Gay and Trevor Ariza are very similar in size and play the same position, but their games are quite different. Rudy Gay is a very good scorer, especially inside the three-point arc where he can use his deadly mid-range offensive skills. On the other hand, Trevor Ariza is an outstanding defensive player and solid three-point shooter. It could be argued that while Gay and Ariza have different skill sets, their overall value as NBA players is comparable.
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Despite putting up good numbers in Sacramento, Rudy Gay hasn't fit in well with the Kings since joining the team in 2013. Gay has had problems with team management during his tenure there and has not gelled with his teammates for the most part. The Kings see him as a good player with value in the trade market, who doesn't happen to be a good fit for their franchise.
Now that Mike D'Antoni is the head coach, Houston will be a team built around fast-paced offense, as described by the Sporting News. Rudy Gay is clearly a better fit than Ariza in that type of system since Gay is the superior scorer and offensive talent. It is not hard to understand why the Rockets are interested in Rudy Gay to help them usher out the Dwight Howard Era.Trevor Ariza is the kind of player who could help nearly any team he played for, but he doesn't seem ideal for the Kings as their roster is currently constructed. Outside of NBA All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, there isn't a lot of offense in the Sacramento lineup. Ariza would bring stability, defense, and outside shooting to the Kings, but the team would be even less potent on the offensive end without Rudy Gay.
One intangible area where Ariza would be of great value, however, would be in terms of what he adds to team chemistry -- something that was a big problem for Sacramento in 2015-16. Trevor Ariza is known as a "glue guy" who has a proclivity for making things flow for his team on and off the court. The Kings badly need more players who are unselfish and make those around them better.The Kings and Rockets are the subject of current NBA trade rumors that are making the rounds. The exact construction of the deal appears to be a work in progress, but Rudy Gay could be headed to Houston in the very near future.
[Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/AP Images]