The San Antonio Spurs will be without Rudy Gay for Monday night’s preseason opener vs the Sacramento Kings.
In the offseason, the San Antonio Spurs signed Rudy Gay to a two-year, $17 million deal, with a player option for the second season. It came after spending parts of the past four years with the Sacramento Kings.
A game in January would be Gay’s last as a King. He ruptured his Achilles tendon, which cost him the rest of the 2016-17 season. Despite the injury being suffered just nine months ago, the UConn product was cleared to play.
The Spurs have their first preseason game on Monday night, coincidentally against the Kings. However, it doesn’t seem the team is ready to play Gay just yet. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (h/t Pounding the Rock), the 31-year-old will not play in the preseason opener.
Rudy Gay taking jumpers from the same spot on the Golden1 Center floor where he tore his Achilles. He won't play tonight, Pop says pic.twitter.com/piYnYH7FF6
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 2, 2017
There’s no explanation given for Gay’s absence, but it’s possible head coach Gregg Popovich wants to take his rehab as slow as possible. If so, this might not be the first preseason game the 11-year pro misses.
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If Popovich decides to play Gay in the second preseason game, he’ll get his chance against the Kings, as they rematch on Friday, Oct. 6 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. So he won’t be subject to the potential crowd reactions from his return to the Golden 1 Center, but with a chance at some revenge, if he plays.
This also means the wait will continue for Gay’s potential role. If Popovich decides to use Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol together, then the Brooklyn, NY native could slide into the sixth man spot. The opportunity for an occasional start should be there, too, if smaller lineups are deployed.
Gay played in 30 games for the Kings before the Achilles injury. He averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 45.5 percent shooting (37.2 percent from 3-point range).
Prior to that, Gay arrived in Sacramento via a 2013-14 season trade. He previously spent time with the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors, after being selected in the 2006 NBA Draft.