Rudy Gay trade to replace Kevin Durant? After the departure of their star Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (OKC) Thunder fans are wondering who will fill the void left by their leading scorer. Recent reports suggest that the organization is going after Sacramento Kings? Rudy Gay and the restricted free agent Harrison Barnes.
Yesterday, the world of basketball was shocked after Durant decided not to return to the OKC Thunder and signed up with the Golden State Warriors joining the reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. With that decision, the Thunder organization was left with no choice but to look for an effective small forward to make up for the loss.
For the Thunder, the easiest possible option is the restricted free-agent Harrison Barnes, which means the Warriors organization still has the authority to match any offer for Barnes by other teams and facilitate a sign-and-trade deal. However, there is another problem for OKC, the Dallas Mavericks.
According to reports, the Mavs is also interested in Barnes. They offered him a four-year $95 million max deal. For that to work, the Warriors need to match the deal to make a sign-and-trade deal. If the Thunder really wants Barnes on their roster, they could just simply match the Mavs? offer and hope that GSW will go their side.
If that would not work, the next option they will have is Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings. It can be recalled that the team has been trying to trade Gay during the past few months and if OKC would go after him, they might have to give up draft picks and young players. It will be favorable for both teams as the Thunder wants to still make it to the playoffs come next season and the Kings want to acquire young athletes especially after the departure of point guard Rajon Rondo.
Aside from looking for a small forward to take the spot left by Durant, the Thunder also needs to address the upcoming free-agency of their other star, Russell Westbrook. Next summer, the contract of Westbrook will expire which will give him the liberty to look for another team to sign with. However, OKC might have the chance to avoid it if they would offer him a contract extension.
Also, the organization might also want to make some moves to free cap space to keep Westbrook for a longer term. However, it is a fact that the all-star point guard would earn more money if he would wait for other teams to make an offer for him during his free agency next year. So, let us just wait for the move the Thunder would make regarding Westbrook.
How about you? Do you think OKC will get Harrison Barnes? Or, will they go after Rudy Gay of the Kings? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.