- Marc Stein, ESPN Senior Writer
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Five questions with Sacramento's Rudy Gay, who plays host to his old Toronto teammates Wednesday night. The Raptors are 18-10 since Gay was traded away, but Gay is averaging 20.7 points on 53 percent shooting as a King, after slumping all the way to a career-worst 38.8 percent from the field as a Raptor. At season's end, Gay must decide whether to play out the last year of his contract at $19.3 million or opt for free agency in July.
Q: Why has the move made such a dramatic difference in your game individually?
A: I don't know, man. I just think in Toronto we didn't have enough time to actually get rolling. Here I'm just back to being me, that's all.
Q: What exactly does "back to being me" mean?
A: Just being free. Just going out there and making plays for myself and others. Coach [Mike Malone] is putting me in different situations. He's trusting me with the ball, trusting me to make plays for others, and also the guys around me are trusting me to do that for them.
Q: How much are you listening to some of the negative noise that's out there nowadays about your game?
A: Honestly, of course, at times you think about it. You hear things that make you want to prove people wrong. But at this point I know who I am. And luckily the people here [with the Kings] know who I am and what kind of player I can be for this team. That's all that really matters. So I just try to tune it out and just play basketball. If I can go out there and do [that], that's the best I can do.
Q: Which way are you leaning in terms of opting into your contract for next season or opting out?
A: I'm not sure. I have to go into the summer with my people, think about everything, weigh out the pros and cons. I don't know yet. But Sacramento's been great to me thus far. Obviously I'm trying to tune it all out right now. All I can think about right now is how great Sacramento's been to me.
Q: How hard has it been to watch Toronto kind of take off without you?
A: It's not [hard]. I love those guys. DeMar [DeRozan] just texted me five minutes ago ... literally. We'll always be brothers. That's my little brother. I love to see him have this success [and make the East All-Star squad]. He's been in the doghouse of the NBA for a long time. I think now he's getting his just due.