Rudy Gay's Opt-Out Signals End of Kings Career

Rudy Gay had some shining moments with the Kings, in addition to more than a few low points. Nonetheless, he is no longer the player that frustrated so many fans in Memphis and Toronto. Although his injury will limit his market, Rudy could still be a valuable contributor in the right situation.

With free agency starting, the Kings will have a number of targets with their massive piles of cap space. One player who will not be courted by the Kings is Rudy Gay. Rudy opted out of the final year of his contract with the Kings. He will reportedly (per Adrian Wojnarowski) be meeting with teams in Austin, Texas once free agency begins.

Although Rudy was a polarizing player during his stints in Memphis and Toronto, he turned his play around during his three and a half years in Sacramento. He improved his efficiency as a scorer while also taking on a larger playmaking role than he had in his previous two stops. While Rudy reportedly had quite a lot to say about the Kings behind closed doors, he was a consummate teammate while in Sacramento. His reputation as a chucker may continue to follow him, but Rudy could be a key contributor for a competitor next season.

Offense: Improved Efficiency

During his days in Memphis, Rudy Gay was primarily an isolation scorer who would occasionally break out some massive dunks. During his brief stint in Toronto, he devolved into one of the league's most notorious chuckers. That led to his eventual trade to Sacramento, where Rudy unexpectedly revitalized his offensive game.

Rudy never managed to cobble together a True Shooting percentage above 55% in his first eight years in the league. However, he put up a 56.7% mark during his first 55 games in Sacramento. He then finished two of his next three years in Sacramento with a True Shooting percentage above that 55% mark that usually denotes a league-average shooter. Despite his increased efficiency, Rudy averaged more points per game in the 2014-15 season than at any other time in his career.

Even though Rudy has always been able to put up points, he ate up far more possessions than he should have before joining the Kings. Rudy scored just 0.842 points per possession in his 2012-13 campaign in Memphis per Synergy Sports, which put him in the 32nd percentile league-wide. He was even worse in his short stint in Toronto the next year, putting up just 0.803 points per possession which ranked in the 21st percentile. That jumped to 0.969 points per possession (in the 71st percentile) in his first season in Sacramento, and Rudy graded out as above-average on offense on a per-possession basis in each of his three full years as a King. Part of this was due to Rudy putting on some weight during his time in Sacramento; that allowed him to bully smaller wings on his way to the rim instead of settling for fadeaway jump shots: