Thunder Thoughts: More Rumblings on OKC's Interest in Rudy Gay
The Oklahoma City Thunder are three games into their exhibition season and the team hasn't exactly shown all their cards. Russell Westbrook is just out there for the first and third quarter getting some work in. Steven Adams has been out with a sprained ankle and Andre Roberson missed the last game with a sore knee.
That starters have been out there to get their work in while Billy Donovan has been really trying to integrate the younger players as well as the newcomers. It is a process and Billy really doesn't care about wins and losses right now. He wants improvement rather than a meaningless win.
But even looking at this team you can see potential. You watch Domantas Sabonis and you can't help but be excited. Victor Oladipo is a baby Russell Westbrook who is being molded by Russ. You can see the ability of a Alex Abrines. Ersan Ilyasova is a nice piece and Joffery Lauverne has shown the ability to finish at the rim and be active in the pick and roll offense.
But something is missing. There just isn't the firepower Thunder fans are used to. We all know why. But the Thunder are a little unbalanced roster wise. There are a bunch of bigs on the team and there are a good amount of point guards and two guards.
The team made a big decision this summer to keep Russell Westbrook. The team isn't going to do that unless they are committed to winning. They made the commitment so Sam Presti and Co. want to find a way to get back to a championship level.
Maybe the Thunder could use this season to develop players and use the off-season to sign a free agent. But that isn't a controlled environment. That is a risk. Look at Dallas. They've been playing that game since 2011 and they are still striking out. If OKC doesn't get a free agent, then the team only has another year before Westbrook can opt out and become a free agent again.
Honestly, I feel like a trade is coming. I've felt like a trade might happen once the preseason was winding down before the actual season begins. I've thrown the name Rudy Gay out there before earlier this summer as an option. But there wasn't anything to it.
Then, though it was to no surprise, Gay told the Kings he would opt out of his contract with the Kings at the end of the season. So, the disgruntled Gay looks to be on the trading block.
Still, the Thunder and Gay hadn't been mentioned together other than just rumors. That was until Yesterday when some rumblings came from ESPN's Zach Lowe.
"The trade front is quiet now; everyone in the bloated middle is waiting to see how good they are before pivoting up or down," Lowe wrote. "The Kings may be best bet to act early, since Gay politely told them he would very much like to leave. Keep an eye on the Thunder among the potential Gay suitors."
So, the Thunder could actually be interested in Rudy Gay. It makes sense. It is a need for the Thunder. But I'm not a big fan of Gay, but that is a need. If he is available will the Thunder pull the trigger? I'm not saying OKC going to do this, but things certainly are trending in this direction.
The biggest issue for the Thunder is that they have little to offer back in terms of trades. The Thunder have a ton of bigs, like I said earlier. But so do the Kings. So, if this deal were to go down, watch out for a three team trade. The Thunder could jump in easier that way and work everything out. But, this is a story that has slowly built some steam from the summer to now. I'd keep an eye out on this.