An MRI has been scheduled for Thursday to confirm the team’s preliminary diagnosis of a torn Achilles, according to the club.
After the game, Gay was on crutches and in a boot.
Gay, 30, made it clear coming into the season that he intended to walk away from the final season of his Kings contract, valued at $14.3 million in 2017-18, to opt for free agency in July. That led to a widespread belief around the league that Gay would be one of the more accomplished players moved before the league’s Feb. 23 trade deadline.
But the serious nature of a potential Achilles tear, which would sideline Gay for months, could well prompt him to invoke his player option for next season and remain on the Kings’ payroll.
If Gay does decide to go ahead with his initial plans and opt for free agency this summer, he’ll be hoping to emulate Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews, who suffered a torn Achilles in March 2015 while playing with Portland yet still managed to land a four-year, $70 million deal with Dallas four months later.
The Kings, sources say, held onto Gay through first half of the regular season in part because they have been challenging for the West’s No. 8 seed, which would enable Sacramento to bring a halt to the league’s season-longest playoff drought at 10 seasons and counting.
But Sacramento just went 1-6 on a crucial seven-game homestand to drop into a tie for 10th in the West and will Friday begin a mammoth eight-game road trip without Gay and swingman Omri Casspi, who is out for up to two weeks with a calf injury.