The Wizards couldn't lure one native son back home last summer.
Another chance could emerge soon as a different scoring threat with local ties may soon become available.
Sacramento Kings forward and Baltimore native Rudy Gay has informed team management that he plans to opt out of his contract in 2017 and enter free agency, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday. In addition, Gay told the Kings he "considers himself unlikely to negotiate a new deal to return to the franchise."
Though the main focus here is on free agency next summer, "that he’s strongly leaning against re-signing with Sacramento is a declaration that could increase pressure on the organization to trade Gay sooner rather than later," Wojnarowski wrote.
Gay, 30, averaged 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 70 games last season with the Kings, who haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2006. He’ll make $13.3 million this season and $14.3 million for the 2017-18 season unless he, as reported, declines his player option.
For a team like the Wizards, the 6-foot-8 Gay would provide a go-to scoring option. One question for Washington entering this season involves whether they have a consistent third scoring threat beyond guards John Wall and Bradley Beal. Not just capable of putting the ball in the basket, Gay can create his own shot.
The Wizards are set to enter their upcoming training camp with the young tandem of Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre Jr. at small forward.
Compensation is of course key in such matters and that's likely where things end with Washington in mind assuming there was interest in the first place. More from Wojnarowski:
So far, Sacramento has shown no inclination to move Gay without a substantial package in return, league sources told The Vertical. Several teams have engaged the Kings in trade talks, but teams say those conversations have yet to find traction. Some teams have been unclear with what exactly Sacramento wants in return, and others say the asking price is too unreasonable.Nevertheless, Sacramento hasn’t ruled out trading Gay, but the team wants to compete for the playoffs, and team officials believe there are few, if any, deals available that could offer them short-term value on Gay, sources said.
If Gay intends on opting out of his contract regardless, teams are unlikely to give up major assets in return. Even if the Wizards are up for talking, the fit might not work unless a third team gets involved.
Three teams that all make sense for Gay (Wizards, Thunder, Magic) all have their surpluses at center, the position Sacramento needs least.— Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux) September 19, 2016
The thing is, there's always free agency in 2017.