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Rudy Gay opts to stay with the Sacramento Kings for next season

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The Sacramento Kings announced on Wednesday that forward Rudy Gay has exercised his contract option for the upcoming season. Gay, the eighth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, will earn $19.3 million.

Sacramento acquired Gay in a seven-player trade with the Toronto Raptors last December. The Kings received Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray in exchange for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez.

In 55 games with the Kings, Gay averaging 20.1 points on 48.2 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals. Between Toronto and Sacramento, the Connecticut product played 73 games and averaged 20.0 points on 45.6 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists (career-high) and 1.3 steals in 73 games.

“We’re thrilled that Rudy will return to Sacramento next season,” said Kings Chairman and Majority Owner Vivek Ranadivé in a statement. “He quickly demonstrated consistency both on the court and in the community and we regard him as a valuable member of our organization moving forward.”

The upcoming season will be Gay’s ninth in the NBA. In 585 career games, Gay is averaging 18.2 points on 45.1 percent shooting, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals. Gay scored his 10,000th point on Jan. 29 against his first NBA team, the Memphis Grizzlies.

With Gay back on board, GM Pete D’Alessandro will turn his attention next to the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday. Coincidently, the Kings have the eighth overall pick.

After the draft is over, point guard Isaiah Thomas will become the top priority on D’Alessandro’s busy agenda. Thomas became a restricted free agent on Wednesday when the Kings announced that they have extended a qualifying offer to him.

Thomas is coming off a breakout season where he set career-highs in points (20.3), assists (6.3), rebounds (2.9), steals (1.3) and field-goal percentage (45.3). The Washington product was the 60th and last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.


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