There has been much talk about whether or not the Kings can afford Isaiah Thomas in the wake of the salary cap behemoth otherwise known as Rudy Gay's contract, how many shots Rudy Gay can take and still be effective, and, whether or not Jason Thompson is on the outs himself.
Talk is cheap. Doing is important. That's the key single greatest takeaway I have from this trade. Do I like Rudy Gay? Fuck no I don't. Never said I have, and unless he dramatically increases his efficiency and defense at 27 years old from his Memphis peak years, I don't really have any great love of Rudy Gay.
But thats missing the point here: This ownership is willing to spend money to improve the roster even if the risk looks rather unseemly at this juncture.
Seriously: Would you rather have Rudy Gay getting back to his Memphis levels being badly overpaid, or would you continue trying to trot out a bunch of role players/backup's who aren't really starters in roles that don't really suite them? Because that's what the Kings were really doing with John Salmons and to a lesser degree Chuck Hayes.
Between the Derrick Williams and Rudy Gay acquisitions, this new ownership has taken on 3.23 million this season in extra salary when you factor the differences in Derrick Williams and Rudy Gay's salary along with Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy's deals on top of it.
Next year is the real kicker: This team now has an additional 14.3 million in salary between Williams and Gay alone that was not there at the start of the season. This my friends is called one thing: Mucho mucho dinero. And, for better or worse, this ownership group seems to be interested in doing what it takes to build a competitive roster.
This is a step in the right direction. There's still a lot to be done starting with the acquistion of a premium talent (preferably from the 2014 draft), but it's a step in a direction that if you can get Rudy Gay of previous years back, it's a gamble worth taking. And it's not like beyond 2015 either Williams or Gay will be on the books. Now onto the Isaiah Thomas "next contract" discussion. The dirty little secret is that this new ownership group and management has always targeted 2015 to be the year they do things in Free Agency. Nothing they've done, with the exception of the extension given Cousins and sign Landry to their respective contracts, the 2015 cap space is still not only intact, it seems far more solid than it did before these trades.
How? Step on down into the world of the CBA lunacy.