The San Antonio Spurs don’t really have any way to replace impending free agent Rudy Gay, which may cause his price to climb pretty high.
That means they can re-sign their impending free agents, sign their draft picks, use the non-taxpayer Mid-Level Exception, and sign veterans to minimum contracts to fill out their roster.
Rudy Gay‘s contract has expired, and San Antonio doesn’t really have the means to replace him with someone of equal or greater talent with their current salary cap situation.
Gay and his agent surely know that, so they have a lot of leverage in their negotiations with the Spurs’ front office.
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In an article for The Athletic, Jordan Brenner stated that multiple sources have told him that San Antonio expects to re-sign their veteran wing but his new salary may come north of $10 million per year.
This new contract could end up being a raise over Gay’s one-year, $10 million deal he signed last summer.
The 32-year-old forward began to look like himself again last season after spending much of the 2017-18 season trying to regain his athleticism after an Achilles injury.
Gay was the Spurs’ only really reliable wing as he scored 13.7 points per game with 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 26.7 minutes per contest.
Gay was an extremely efficient scorer last season with a career-high true shooting percentage of 58.3%, and he excelled on the other end of the floor as well finishing in the top 10 among small forwards in defensive real plus-minus.
The Spurs desperately need the three-and-D skillset that Gay brings, and they may have to overpay him a bit in order to secure those services for next year.
The interesting aspects of this negotioation to keep an eye on are how many years San Antonio gives him and how high that salary will rise.
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The Spurs don’t have a ton of financial flexibility for the next couple of years anyway, so locking up Gay on a two-year deal would make sense for both sides considering the situation.