• Rudy Gay has informed the Sacramento Kings that he’ll exercise his player option and probably won’t return to Sacramento next offseason. That is, of course, assuming he isn’t traded beforehand.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical has the scoop, wherein Sacramento apparently has no intentions of accepting a discounted package for the Villanova product.

    There’s a couple ways to read this, but the major takeaway is that Rudy Gay really wants to get out of Sacramento. It’s not particularly surprising that he won’t return to the Kings, but him letting them know this far in advance should kickstart their search for a dance partner on the trade market.

    Despite ownership’s misgivings about trading a player of Gay’s caliber, particularly in a season where they’re trying to compete in a new barn, it really would serve the franchise best of Vivek and company bite the bullet. Holding onto Gay for the entire season will leave a massive hole in the roster when he eventually departs and leave the Kings with their thumbs up their noses in a scenario that Gay literally told them was going to happen.

    They might also find things more difficult the longer they wait into the season as teams firm up their cap sheets. With less balls in the air right now it’d be easier for a potential trade partner to clear up the space needed to bring in a guy like Gay. There’s also the aspect of teams wanting Gay’s Bird Rights (so they can go over the cap to re-sign him if necessary) affecting potential trades; teams are already hesitant to bring in a flow-altering rental and would probably like some kind of commitment from Gay if possible.

    Again, he really wants to leave- he’s not even going to pit Sacramento and his Bird Rights against other bidders in free agency. That alone should be enough to show Vivek that he won’t be able to persuade Gay into staying, but only time will tell.

    There’s also this interesting note:

    “Gay had been encouraged by the appearance of stability under former GM Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone, but that confidence in the franchise waned with the turnover that ensued.”

    Not a shocking revelation, but what a horrendous mistake Malone’s dismissal was. Conversely, D’Alessandro wasn’t necessarily a stabilizing force during his tenure so that’s an interesting tidbit from Woj (or whoever he’s talking to).

    Rudy Gay simply has to be traded, lest the Kings look like court jesters once again.

Fantasy News

  • Vincent Poirier
    C, Boston Celtics

    The Celtics have announced the signing of Vincent Poirier.

    Poirier joins the Celtics after six professional seasons in Europe and is believed to be on a two-year deal. Last season he averaged 10.5 points (61.6 percent shooting), 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.0 blocked shots in 73 games between EuroLeague and Liga ACB competition. Poirier figures to be battling Daniel Theis and Robert Williams for playing time behind Enes Kanter and doesn't have much fantasy appeal.

    Source: Boston Celtics

  • Ben Simmons
    PG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $170 max contract extension with the Sixers.

    The Sixers reportedly offered up the deal a couple weeks ago and the sides have been ironing out the details since. It's not surprising that things resolved quickly, and Philly wasted no time in giving Simmons huge money. He's a jump shot away from being truly elite. For fantasy purposes, until we see Simmons either hit some threes or improve his free throw shooting, he remains a prime over-draft candidate. The stat set holes are simply too impactful to select the talented young guard before the third round.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • William Howard
    F, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have a verbal agreement to sign French forward William Howard, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

    Howard is a 25-year-old from Montbrison, France who spent the last two seasons with Limoges in France's LNB Pro A. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 threes per game, shooting .411 from the field in 24.9 mpg. While last season saw Howard post career-low marks from deep, he is a .364 3-point shooter across five seasons in the LNB Pro A. It's unlikely that Howard plays much for the Jazz this season.

    Source: Eric Walden on Twitter

  • Wesley Matthews
    SG, Milwaukee Bucks

    Michael Scotto of The Athletic is reporting that Wesley Matthews' deal with the Bucks is for two years and $5.3 million, with a player option on the second season.

    Matthews was initially reported to be heading to Milwaukee on a one-year deal for the minimum, and that may still essentially be the case given the likelihood that Matthews opts out if he has a strong season. Either way, it's a nice piece of business for the Bucks, who get a 3-and-D wing player at a very affordable price. Matthews is shaping up as a low-end source of threes and steals, as he typically does.

    Source: Michael Scotto on Twitter

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Shams Charania is reporting that the Clippers and the Rockets are the two teams still "strongly pursuing" Andre Iguodala in trade talks.

    Charania adds that the Mavs and the Nuggets have also engaged Memphis but those discussions never gained much traction. The Rockets are hesitant to increase their tax bill while the Clippers don't want to part with Moe Harkless, who is the only player on the roster that represents a salary match. If either of these two teams wants to execute a trade, it looks like it will require another team.

    Source: Stadium on Twitter

  • Alize Johnson
    PF, Indiana Pacers

    The second-year option for Alize Johnson has been fully guaranteed.

    Johnson, who put up an excellent performance at Summer League, will make $1.4 million this season. He is unlikely to play much but the Pacers have been consistent in their view that he is a player worth developing over the long-term.

    Source: Indianapolis Star

  • JR Smith
    SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Cavs are expected to waive J.R. Smith on Monday if no last-minute trade emerges, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

    It would be shocking if someone went out and traded for Smith, who will be guaranteed $4 million of his $15 million salary. The Lakers have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot, and Smith doesn't figure to have a ton of teams eager to sign him after the way last season went off the rails.

    Source: Joe Vardon on Twitter

  • Duncan Robinson
    F, Miami Heat

    The Heat will be picking up Duncan Robinson's $1 million guarantee for the upcoming season.

    Robinson played well throughout Summer League and will now officially be on the roster. He only appeared in 15 games last season, and although he's showed some promise Robinson will likely need another trade to go down to open up a serious shot at playing time.

    Source: Tim Reynolds on Twitter

  • Henry Ellenson
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Henry Ellenson has signed a two-way contract with the Nets.

    Ellenson left the Knicks in Summer League due to personal reasons, but the former lottery pick has resurfaced with the other New York team. He'll give the Nets someone who can provide stretch four play in a pinch, but odds are he'll spend most of his time in the G-League. Time is running out for Ellenson to establish himself as an NBA player.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has decided not to participate in Team USA training camp and has withdrawn from FIBA World Cup consideration.

    Davis has chosen to spend his offseason preparing for what he hopes is a championship run with the Lakers this season. AD is still a go for the 2020 Olympics and he'll be at training camp to support his teammates, but he won't be on the court with them. At least he's well-versed in that move from his days with the Pelicans.

    Source: Yahoo Sports