The season is over. Now on to to the top priorities for the offseason.
That begins with Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas.
Gay can become an unrestricted free agent by opting out of his contract that is due to pay him $19.3 million next season.
Even if Gay does opt out, the Kings will try to keep him.
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Gay quickly became popular with the coaching staff and front office.
Gay’s wife, Ecko, is in Memphis for the birth of their first child. Gay said any decisions on his contract would come after the birth of his son.
“It’s mainly about my family and I’m going to take that time,” Gay said. “Obviously Coach (Michael Malone) will respect that and told me to take my time. They’ll come out and see me and we’ll be able to talk about it.”
Thomas will be a restricted free agent after the Kings make him a qualifying offer. Thomas can then sign an offer sheet with another team, which the Kings could match, or agree to a new deal with the Kings.
“I would love to stay,” Thomas said. “I don’t like change of scenery. I don’t like change, so I would love to stay. I’ve been here for three years and it would be great to be here for awhile. But you never know what will happen.”
I didn’t write much about the game for the newspaper, so here’s a quick rundown of facts from the Kings’ 104-99 loss to the Phoenix Suns to end the season:
• Ben McLemore scored a career-high 31 points to end his rookie season. His five assists were also a career high.
• Aaron Gray had a season-high 13 rebounds.
• The Kings fell to 0-11 without DeMarcus Cousins, who missed the game because of an NBA suspension.
• The Kings finish the season 28-54. That’s the same record from last season and third-worst in the Western Conference. It’s the seventh-worst record in the NBA. After the lottery, the worst the Kings could finish is 10th, meaning they will keep their draft pick, which is top-12 protected.
The Kings could have lost the pick to Chicago, which acquired the rights to the pick from Cleveland from the 2011 J.J. Hickson trade.
• The game was the 14th sellout of the season after three last season.