To stay or to go? Rudy Gay answered that question, at least in the short term, when he opted into the final year of his contract with the Sacramento Kings this summer. His long-term future with the franchise, however, remains in question.
The 28-year-old small forward says he and the Sacramento Kings engaged in extension talks before he left for Spain to compete in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Contract negotiations have been on hold since.
“Haven’t picked it back up,” Gay said of talks following the Sacramento Kings’ morning practice on Monday. “I really don’t need that over my head right now trying to make this team better and trying to also be better myself. And I didn’t need it over there (in Spain) so I think that’s something that will handle itself.”
As far as a timeline on reaching a potential contract extension is concerned, the veteran small forward isn’t sure at this point. The Sacramento Kings and Gay have until June 30 of next year to come to terms on a new deal.
“I’m letting my management handle that,” Gay said. “I’m not going to be getting involved until it’s nearing the end or both sides feel as though that that needs to happen. Then I make a decision.”
Gay is entering his ninth season in the league and his first full campaign in the capital city. The veteran wing was acquired by the Sacramento Kings in a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Raptors early last season. Though he’s spent less than a year in Sacramento, Gay can see himself setting down roots here.
“You play in NBA cities and you expect Sacramento to be like L.A. or the bay,” Gay said. “It’s not. It’s its own little thing. It’s a family city and that’s what I’m growing to be – more of a family person.”
Omri Casspi sees a different DeMarcus Cousins
Omri Casspi played the first two seasons of his career with the Sacramento Kings. His second year in the league coincided with DeMarcus Cousins’ first. The veteran forward says Cousins has “changed a lot” since the two last played together.
“You can’t even put in perspective how much he changed,” Casspi said on Monday. “I’m happy for him because he’s going in the right direction. He’s going to be one of the, if not the best dominant big man in the league.”
Casspi sees a couple different areas where Cousins has changed since they last teamed up during the 2010-11 season. The 26-year-old forward suggested that he’s seen growth out of Cousins when it comes to the starting center’s attitude and work ethic.
“Still there’s stuff he needs to work on, like all of us, but he changed a lot,” Casspi said. “He’s got so much better and has a big edge on his shoulder.”
Casspi thinks that Cousins has a much improved understanding of the game since the 24-year-old center’s rookie season in the league. The veteran forward is also pleased to see Cousins take the team’s younger players like Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas under his wing.
“He’s trying to show the way to the younger guys,” Casspi said. “It’s nice to see when he was a young guy two, three years ago (in the same position). And now, he’s the one showing the (younger players) how to get open, what to do.”
Darren Collison thinks experience with Blake Griffin can help chemistry with DeMarcus Cousins
From David West to Dirk Nowitzki, Darren Collison has played with some of the league’s most talented big men. Last year, he built chemistry with one of the game’s best power forwards in Blake Griffin. Collison thinks that Griffin and new teammate DeMarcus Cousins share one trait in common that will help him in his transition to the Sacramento Kings.
“I think they’re both great players,” Collison said after Monday’s morning practice. “They’re different, like you said, but they both know how to dominate. That’s always a good thing. Very few players know how to dominate and I think DeMarcus is right there from getting it.”
Collison praised Cousins’ basketball IQ noting that the 24-year-old center has a good feel for the game. He also appreciates the feistiness that Cousins brings to the court on a daily basis.
“He’s very passionate,” Collison said of Cousins. “I think people mistake that for somebody that’s just too wild. To me, I like his passion. We play 82 games throughout the year and not a lot of guys are passionate about what they do every single day. I don’t think DeMarcus takes a day off emotionally.
“He’s always in tune to the game, maybe a little bit too much,” Collison added. “But I’m sure you guys would love to have a kid that’s fiery every single time, ready to play all 82 games and a guy that doesn’t really care (what people think). So DeMarcus, he’s right there mentally. He’s making improvements. I’m thinking in training camp he’s making a lot of strides maturity-wise and it’s paying dividends to him.”