The Sacramento Kings made two huge mistakes this season. The first was not trading Rudy Gay when they had the chance and the second was actually winning games.
With reports that Gay tore his Achilles the Kings will be without his services for possibly the rest of the season. Gay was the first top name to be mentioned as trade bait when he told the Kings he will not opt-in at the end of the year. The Kings were placed in a position where they had no choice but to trade him before the February deadline.
On top of this, the Kings began to play inspired ball as they have fought their way into playoff contention. It was due in part to DeMarcus Cousins and Gay. With Cousins saying he will sign a contract extension in the ballpark of $207M the Kings were hopeful that a winning season could change Gay’s mind. But the 18 point scorer on the season has stood firm with his stance.
Now, what are the Kings to do?
There’s not much they can do. Plug Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi into the lineup and pray the two can combine to match Gay’s production across the board. But, the injury hurts the Kings chances of getting a player in return. Gay was out the door, either by trade or at the end of the year. But a trade could have brought in an SG that the Kings desperately needed.
However, it also changes things for Gay. Depending on his recovery time, his stock may plummet by the end of the season. In what would’ve been a great earning year for him could easily turn into a one-year contract for a team that decides to take a risk on a player coming off a devastating injury. Gay will recover but, it’s a shame that it won’t happen in a Kings uniform.
Now, the Kings must look forward to making another move. A possible trade involving Barnes, Willie Cauley-Stein or Darren Collison may be the only move they can make. A second scorer is needed if the Kings are to continue their push towards the playoffs. The Gay injury hurt but the show still must go on.