So there is another trade rumor? Rudy Gay doesn’t have time to worry about it.
“Just another day in the life,” is all the Kings veteran forward had to say about the latest rumor.
Gay has been linked to several teams in rumors during the season, the latest being the Kings reaching out to New Orleans for forward Ryan Anderson, according to Sheridan Hoops.
Gay also has been linked to Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers.
A year ago, Gay was seen as just a peg below DeMarcus Cousins in terms of being untradeable. Gay has signed a three-year, $40 million extension and was a favorite of principal owner Vivek Ranadive.
A lot has changed since then. Coach George Karl’s system has been a difficult transition for the 6-foot-8 Gay, who is playing more power forward than he has in his career.
Coach George Karl’s system has been a difficult transition for the 6-foot-8 Gay, who is playing more power forward than he has in his career.
Also, the addition of point guard Rajon Rondo has given the Kings another valuable player and could make Gay expendable, especially in a move for an upgrade at shooting guard or on defense.
The Kings have had concerns about depth at shooting guard since the offseason. The team tried to sign Wesley Matthews as a free agent. Matthews chose Dallas, and the Kings settled on Marco Belinelli, who comes off the bench behind Ben McLemore.
The Kings’ lone attempt to address perimeter defense was adding Luc Mbah a Moute, whose deal was voided after he failed his physical.
Anderson, a perimeter-based power forward, doesn’t fit, either. The Oak Ridge High School graduate and former Cal star made four three-pointers and scored 18 points in 20 minutes to help New Orleans beat the Kings on Wednesday.
Gay entered Thursday’s game against the host Utah Jazz averaging 17.8 points on 46.1 percent shooting.
17.8 Rudy Gay’s scoring average this season
Gay averaged a career-high 21.1 points last season.
Battling injuries – The Utah Jazz has remained in the top eight in the Western Conference despite several injuries.
Three key players – Dante Exum (ACL), Derrick Favors (back) and Alec Burks (ankle) – are out. Center Rudy Gobert recently returned from a knee injury.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder said he doesn’t worry about his team’s drive, even with the injuries and coming off a loss at Portland on Wednesday night.
“Definitely not focus and effort,” Snyder said. “Let’s not diminish our guys, but (Portland’s) Damian Lillard is one of the top point guards in the league. At times with our injuries, we’re at a disadvantage.”
Switching it up – In an effort to get more defense into the game early, Karl started Willie Cauley-Stein in place of Quincy Acy.
Cauley-Stein was a starter before dislocating his finger on Dec. 3. The Kings had success starting Gay and Omri Casspi at forward, but with Cauley-Stein back in the starting lineup, Casspi came off the bench.