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Rudy Gay Reportedly Opts out of Kings Contract, Will Test Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 18: Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 18, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Rudy Gay has reportedly decided to hit free agency, declining to exercise his $14.3 million player option for the 2017-18 season with the Sacramento Kings on Monday.  

Zach Lowe of ESPN confirmed a report from Albert Nahmad that Gay had activated the option.

Gay, 30, played well for the Kings when he was healthy last season, averaging 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30 games. But he ruptured his Achilles tendon in January and missed the rest of the season, and it remained uncertain if he would return to the Kings or test the free-agent waters.

The Kings certainly wanted Gay to remain on the roster.

"His personality, when we talk about who’s going to fit on this team, he’s exactly what we’re looking for," general manager Vlade Divac said in April, per Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

But with the team building around a young core that includes Buddy Hield, Skal Labissiere, George Papagiannis and Willie Cauley-Stein, Gay perhaps didn't want to undergo a rebuilding effort. Instead, testing free agency will allow him to not only acquire a bigger payday but perhaps join a contending team as well.

As for the Kings, they were always a long shot to be playoff team in 2017-18. Without Gay, the odds have grown that much longer.

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