Kings Blog

Gay’s talent trumps analytics for Kings

There have been plenty of critics of the Kings’ acquisition of Rudy Gay based on statistical analysis.

One statistic that’s used is usage rate, which is the number of possessions a player uses per 40 minutes.

Usage Rate = {[FGA + (FT Att. x 0.44) + (Ast x 0.33) + TO] x 40 x League Pace} divided by (Minutes x Team Pace).

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in usage rate at 32.6. Isaiah Thomas is tied for ninth at 28.

Gay is eighth at 28.3 from his time with Toronto this season.

The question becomes will there be enough scoring chances for the trio? Only Oklahoma City has two players in the top-10 in usage rate (Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant).

There’s also Player Efficiency Rating, which is the overall rating of a player's per-minute statistical production. The league average is 15 every season.

Cousins is sixth in the NBA at 26.27 in PER. Thomas is 10th at 24.14.

Gay is 116th at 15.98.

That doesn’t worry the Kings at all.

“A lot of these things I don’t know what they mean,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “I know Rudy Gay is a talented player. I know when he was in Memphis and they were a competitive team and he was a big part of their success.”

The Kings believe Gay’s play will improve having Cousins in the frontcourt with him, similar to Gay’s time in Memphis when he played with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and that Gay will have no problem adapting his game to fit with the Kings.

The Kings also believe they will have a system that puts Gay in his best positions to be successful.

“We don’t want it the ball to be just dribble, dribble, dribble, no ball movement, easy to guard and shoot,” Malone said. “Rudy’s going to buy in. He’s a high character kid. We’re happy to have him and he’ll buy in.”

Gay gives the Kings their best wing scorer since Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace). Gay averages 18 points for his career at a position the Kings have struggled to get 18 points total from two or three players.

Yes, the Kings know the numbers. They just don’t care about them. In some cases, numbers don’t tell the whole story and they believe Gay’s talent will trump all analytics.

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