2019 NBA free agency: 5 potential landing spots for Rudy Gay

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3. Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings may be coming off their most successful season in over a decade, but there are reasons to think regression may follow. After averaging 14.3 points per game following a midseason trade to Sacramento, Harrison Barnes opted out of the final year of his deal in search of a max contract.

The Kings will also have to deal with restricted free agent center Willie Cauley-Stein, who essentially wants out of Sac-Town. The front office may have to look elsewhere to replace their starting center, but Gay would be an ideal option as a substitute for Barnes.

Gay would actually be returning to a familiar setting, having played for the Kings for a little over three full seasons from 2013-17. It was there where he had some of his best seasons as a pro in averaging 19.3 points per game, including a career-high 21.1 points per game in 2014-15.

The similarities between Gay and Barnes are staggering. Despite Gay being nearly six years his senior, both stand 6’8”, clocking in around 230 pounds. The two can stroke the long ball, but operate best out of the mid-post with the ability to create their own shot.

Should Gay decide to return, these comparisons would make for a smooth transition given how little he’d have to adjust his preferred style of play. He would also get the chance to play next to a talented backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield and fall into more of a supporting role he seems suited for at this point in time.

When Gay first arrived in Sacramento, his talent was wasted on a team with little direction and stability. The franchise is now on the come-up with a talented young core in place that will only continue to improve. This time around, he’d help continue that push up the standings and be a part of an exciting time for the organization.