After a successful prediction in both the result and score from my game preview, I feel like I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen enough games and numbers taken from 10 games– including the team’s 110-106 win last night– to know that the Sacramento Kings‘ trade with the Toronto Raptors for Rudy Gay will be the best acquisition they’ve made in well over a decade.
In his last 10 games Gay is shooting 48 percent with 19.9 points per game, which is an increase over his slow start with the team. Gay is also a force on the glass grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game. He’s a dramatic improvement over John Salmons who was sent to the Raptors in the deal.
Head Coach Michael Malone has stressed that he needs to get Gay more touches late in games and that’s true. Gay must continue to get acclimated, that will come with more practice time which will lead to more wins as the team continues to gel. Rudy is an important piece given what the Kings gave up in return. He gives them a viable star in his own right and is the best forward the Kings have had since Metta World Peace. More importantly, Gay is a solid piece for the future.
Gay, of course, is not a bonafide superstar like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, but this is Sacramento. Big name talent costs smaller market teams money–that’s just a fact. So when you add in a still lethal Gay to a lineup that’s already getting career numbers from DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas, you have the makings of a solid big three.
The team shut down its experiment with Greivis Vasquez when it realized Isaiah Thomas was a viable starter. Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray were also sent to Sacramento in the deal, but it is the addition of Rudy Gay that gives this team a solid core for Coach Malone to work with this season. While they may not be the biggest three — especially when Isaiah stands 5-foot-9 — Sacramento does have a core, and for this team that’s half the battle.