Despite destroying his reputation last season with the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings really want Rajon Rondo. They’re also afraid the cap space they have won’t be enough, so they’re trying to see if anyone is willing to take Rudy Gay via trade.
Gay is beginning his three-season extension which is overall worth $40 million, and worth $12.4 million next season. Overall, after getting a big overpaid in previous years, for a player who is averaging 21.1 points per game that’s a very reasonable salary.
One of the questions regarding the Kings, as always over the last few years, is what exactly are they trying to do. Win now? Rebuild? Hard to say. There’s the whole drama regarding Cousins and George Karl at the moment which is taking the front pages, but it has something to do with finding a point guard, which means a connection to Rondo.
Rondo isn’t going to get the max contract he wanted so badly for so long. His previous, $12 million per year deal now seems like overpaying him. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 assists per game for the Mavericks, but the more telling numbers regarding Rondo have to do with his inability to get to the line (1.1 shots per game last season), his free throw shooting percentage (39.7% from the line) and above everything, the fact that the Mavericks preferred finishing their playoff series against the Rockets without him even dressing up for the games.
The Kings have been high on Rondo for a very long time, back when the Boston Celtics were starting to break themselves apart and Danny Ainge was getting asked three times a day about his point guard. Now they can have him for an all-time low price, maybe even less than $8 million a season if the demand for him around the league is actually that low. But is Rondo broken, beyond fixability?
Moving Rudy Gay isn’t essential to signing Rondo considering the Kings, at the moment, trying to trade everyone (including Cousins, if you’re Karl), have about $12 million in cap space including the first-round pick they’re going to sign. That should be enough to sign Rondo, but they probably want to do more than that in order to pick themselves up from winning just 29 games last season.