With the United States basketball team in need of a scoring wing, Rudy Gay has been added to the preliminary roster.
ESPN's Marc Stein first reported the details:
Hearing Part II: Team USA has secured the services of Sacramento's Rudy Gay to join roster and compete for FIBA World Cup spot— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 8, 2014
Rudy Gay has been with USA Basketball in past and will replace Kevin Durant as 16th member of squad vying for one of final 12 FIBA WC spots— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 8, 2014
National team managing director Jerry Colangelo explained the decision on the squad's official website:
I received a call last night indicating that Rudy was available to join the National Team if Coach K [head coach Mike Krzyzewski] and I felt he could help. We both felt he would be a valuable addition because of his outstanding skills and the fact that he is so familiar with USA Basketball and our national team program. Rudy has been an integral member of USA Basketball since 2005 and was a tremendous contributor to our 2010 World Championship Team. He has a lot of equity in the USA Basketball National Team.
As a result, Gay told Yahoo Sports he decided to join the roster in support of the team and George:
"To see how Paul George went down, I feel like it’s not only for the country but we have to do it for him, too," USAB's Rudy Gay told Yahoo.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 8, 2014
This move represents an attempt to bring in a player who can create shots for himself and rack up the points. He averaged 20.1 points per game last season as a member of the Sacramento Kings after being traded from the Toronto Raptors.
In his seven-year career, the former Connecticut star has averaged 18.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Although he hasn't always been the most efficient player on the floor, his ability to put the ball in the basket will provide the national team—as currently assembled—with something it lacks outside of James Harden and Stephen Curry.
Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press breaks down the positives with the Gay addition:
USA Basketball adds Rudy Gay, a solid choice given previous team experience and he can swing between the 3 and 4 internationally.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) August 8, 2014
Of course, Gay is still not guaranteed a spot on the team. The 27-year-old will have to show he can play up to the standards set by Krzyzewski. If he cannot play with a team-first attitude, he will be cut before the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
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