Storyline: Rudy Gay Free Agency

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Time will tell how much Paul’s departure truly hurts the Clippers. They still have the ability to create salary cap space to get a quality free agent. Free agent forward Rudy Gay is meeting with two teams on Monday, one of which is the Clippers, sources told The Undefeated. With the Western Conference being so tough, the Clippers will need a healthy Griffin and a quick-jelling team of newcomers if they hope to avoid snapping their streak of six straight playoff appearances. ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne has reported that a wealthier Griffin is expected to be back from his toe injury by season’s start.
5 months ago via ESPN

The 11-year NBA veteran averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30 games with the Kings last season before suffering a season-ending complete tear of his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 18 against the Indiana Pacers. Montgomery said that Gay is “ahead of schedule” as he has passed the initial rehabilitation stage, was cleared medically to begin weightlifting and is expected to be back on the court by mid-June.

Losing Gay would magnify the Kings’ hole at small forward they never could adequately fill after Gay went down with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon Jan. 18. Divac and Joerger spoke highly of Gay’s character Thursday. “His personality, when we talk about who’s going to fit on this team, he’s exactly what we’re looking for,” Divac said. The Kings would have to prove to Gay that the team is what he’s looking for, too. The Kings are in the midst of a massive youth movement, the kind of situation veterans longing to return to the postseason tend to avoid.

Gay informed the Kings before the start of the season he intended to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Gay said those plans could change due to the injury. He’s on course to be ready for next season but said he’ll decide what to do after an evaluation of his health and his agent’s assessment of the market. “I’m looking at where I feel most comfortable, where I can showcase my talents and win,” Gay said. “Wherever I think I can do that at, that’s the best place for me.”

When Gay was injured, he and DeMarcus Cousins were were the top players in Sacramento’s quest to end a 10-year playoff drought. Gay was lost after 40 games, and Cousins was traded to New Orleans at the All-Star break. Now the Kings’ front office is focused on the draft and the future. “It’s different, but I’ve been around the league for a long time,” Gay said. “Also I’ve been around trades, I’ve been traded, I understand how this league is.”

Gay won’t be the most popular King when opening night rolls around. After quietly asking to be moved during the offseason, Gay made it clear last week that he will opt out of his contract next summer, although he did leave a small window to return to Sacramento. “Personally, I made the decision to opt out,” Gay said. “Whether I sign here, whether I play the rest of the season, whether I even start here, it’s really not up to me. But wherever I am, I’m going to play to the best of my ability and try and do what I can.”

Rudy Gay to opt out and likely not return

Forward Rudy Gay has informed Sacramento Kings management that he plans to use his 2017 player option to become an unrestricted free agent and considers himself unlikely to negotiate a new deal to return to the franchise, league sources told The Vertical. Gay’s pledge to the Kings’ ownership and front office 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.

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.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is determined to hold on to Gay, whom he considers a vital talent with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins as the Kings move into a new arena this season. Ranadive has told associates that he believes he can change Gay’s mind this year and persuade him to stay, league sources said. Gay’s lack of faith in ownership’s ability to create a sustainable, winning environment has strongly influenced his decision-making process, league sources told The Vertical.
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September 21, 2017 | 5:25 am EDT Update
After missing the Knicks’ voluntary workouts, Porzingis, seemingly in no hurry to return, will be at Monday’s start of training camp for Media Day. He may or may not explain his shocking and unpopular decision to blow off an exit meeting with Jackson, Mills and Hornacek. According to an NBA source, Knicks brass was happy with his performance in Europe and fine with the timing of his New York return. (Hernangomez, whose Spanish squad won bronze, and Kuzminskas haven’t arrived to Tarrytown either; Euro training camps began in late July for the trio.)
Coach Nate McMillan said he has a starting lineup in mind heading into training camp, but wouldn’t reveal it. He did acknowledge, however, that Lance Stephenson likely will start the season as the sixth man. Stephenson likely will play starter minutes, but his versatility and energy makes him a logical candidate for playing off the bench. “I hope he can establish (that role),” McMillan said. “A sixth man is like a starter, and he can be a guy who can do a lot of things with that second group with his ability to handle the ball, score the ball. He’s an unselfish player.”
But after the trials of last season, Jackson is confident that after an off-season geared toward doing a better job of managing the chronic case of tendinitis, he is back to normal. “One hundred percent would always be great to feel, but this year I just want to be better than I was the day before,” Jackson said Wednesday at the practice facility in Auburn Hills.
Storyline: Reggie Jackson Injury
The days of coaches looking at a player’s offseason workout regimen, skeptical of the work load and maybe the credentials of whatever personal guru was administering it, appear to be over. Just as teams’ medical staffs have grown accustomed to injured players seeking out second opinions from orthopedists of their choosing, so have they gotten used to cooperating with, and sometimes embracing, their guys’ trainers into a comprehensive, full-calendar fitness program. Now some of the trainers who work with NBA stars far away from the lights and the cameras may be stars. Rob McClanaghan, Tim Grover, Idan Ravin, Chris Johnson and several others have or have had devoted followings among the league’s biggest names. A facility in Santa Barbara, Calif., called Peak Performance Project – “P3” for short – is a Mecca for players seeking the latest and greatest in bio-mechanics and training techniques.
Scott Brooks, Wizards: “Being a former player, I kind of know all the tricks. One of the tricks is: ‘I lifted a lot of weight this summer and bulked up.’ That’s a trick. You didn’t ‘bulk up,’ you just gained weight. And your body fat percentage is higher. When a player starts the conversation with that, you know he’s not in shape. But we touch are players all summer, we text them – that’s the only way you can communicate with some, who never check their voice messages – but you know once guys come in. The guys we’ve had come in the last couple weeks, I see no problem with their conditioning. … People who always say ‘The old school was better,’ taking all of October to get into shape, that’s one place the old school wasn’t better. … Guys are in shape. It’s big business.”