Exhausting all at the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline, signs indicate that forward Rudy Gay will remain with the San Antonio Spurs for the remainder of the season.
Let’s be honest: Rudy Gay hasn’t been all that he was chalked up to be this season. Coming off of a career-year shooting the ball, Gay seems to have lost a step both athletically and in terms of shooting proficiency. Whether it’s because of some sort of undisclosed injury, inevitable decline or something in between, he’s been a fraction of the player he was last year as the sixth man of the San Antonio Spurs.
Naturally, it would make sense to shop him at the 2020 NBA Draft deadline with plenty of teams looking to add a floor-spacing veteran forward in hopes of a playoff push. San Antonio is 3.5 games out from the eighth seed of the playoffs behind the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies as they begin their annual Rodeo Road Trip 0-2 against the two Los Angeles teams.
For any other team, shipping Gay off is ideal to get younger and return assets for a declining value, but the Spurs remain stuck in their ways. According to a recent report by former Spurs beat writer Jabari Young, a connected and respected source for an organization that generally keeps their options quiet, San Antonio is overvaluing their seventh-man.
“If they get a nice asset back, I think they would do something with Rudy Gay, but I think their asking price is too high,” said the league executive.
“Rudy still has something in his tank,” said an NBA scout, who added teams are not dying to help the Spurs as the franchise had dominated the league throughout Gregg Popovich’s tenure as head coach.
From a culture standpoint, Gay is an excellent fit in the Alamo City. He has firm relationships with a variety of players on the roster and brings the right kind of veteran attitude to a locker room with impressionable players. However, his fit from a basketball perspective just isn’t the same anymore. Spurs fans will always appreciate and respect him, and he’ll assuredly have a few more exciting moments with the team, his skills would better suit a team that’s competing.
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At this stage of his career, we don’t know how much he has left in the tank, so he better make good use of it. Gay’s field goal percentage dipped 6.6 percent from last year, and his 40.2 percent outside shot is dropped tremendously to 31.7 percent this year.
The Spurs aren’t the same as they once were, and there’s not enough ball movement to generate the kind of looks he needs in order to achieve those percentages.
It’d be tough for the personalities to move on from each other, but those minutes and that role could be fulfilled much better by someone else on a cheaper contract. Even rookie Luka Samanic could potentially fill the gap if Gay is moved for draft capital or a player at another position.
We’ll see what happens in the offseason, but San Antonio is likely to stand pat at the deadline.