NBA Sacramento Kings

Can Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins Lead Sacramento Kings Back to Prominence?

DeMarcus Cusins, Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings

Ed Szczepanski-USA Today Sports

On paper, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay seem like the perfect tandem to finally end the Sacramento Kings‘ recent run of futility.

But the game is not played on paper, and it remains to be seen if Cousins and Gay really are the perfect two to finally get the Kings out of the Western Conference basement and back into the playoffs. Cousins and Gay’s history has been well documented. Cousins is easily one of the top big men in the league, but his immaturity has been a barrier for him throughout his brief career.

Gay took a different path to get to this point. Once considered one of the building blocks for the Memphis Grizzlies, Gay was traded to the Toronto Raptors where he became known as one of the least efficient shooters in the league. When the Raptors shipped him to Sacramento in the middle of last season, his shooting efficiency shot back up, primarily because he was playing with a big man who gave him the space to drive the basketball.

Cousins and Gay were a good one-two punch last season, and it could very well be possible that the duo could finally turn around Sacramento’s sour luck. But Gay and the Kings are currently stuck in contract extension negotiations, and it’s not entirely clear as to whether Cousins would like to stick around in California’s capitol for the rest of his career. Adding insult to injury, could one of the two be trade bait in order to land Rajon Rondo?

There are a lot more questions surrounding Cousins and Gay than there are answers, and if the two are committed to making things work, they are going to have to start winning ball games for the Kings. Because if Sacramento falters out of the gate early in 2014-15, don’t be surprised if the Kings decide to pull the plug on this short-term relationship.

Kareem Gantt covers the NBA for Rant Sports. For more from this author, ‘follow’ him on Twitter, ‘like’ him on Facebook, and ‘add’ him to your network on Google