Other teams were interested in him at the deadline but the San Antonio Spurs held out of trade talks, what does the future hold for Rudy Gay in the Alamo City?
Since arriving in the Alamo City in the summer of 2017, Rudy Gay has gradually developed into a key role player for the San Antonio Spurs. His ability to slide between both forward spots, as well as play at center in a pinch, has endeared him to coaches and fans alike. But what does the future hold for Gay and the Spurs?
He’s under contract for one more year but in the summer of 2021 Gay will join several other key Spurs veterans as an unrestricted free agent. Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Gay will all be hitting the open market at the same time.
Stuck in between contending and rebuilding, the San Antonio Spurs will soon have to decide on which direction they want to fully commit to. Treading water somewhere between the 10th and 7th seed is not where you want to be as an NBA franchise.
We’ve covered the possibility of starting a full rebuild and moving on from Aldridge as part of that process. Could San Antonio employ a similar strategy with Gay?
The Spurs stayed out of trade talks at this year’s deadline but not due to a lack of interest in their players. Former Spurs report Jabari Young, now with CNBC, reported that other teams were interested in making a deal for Gay, but the Spurs were a little too attached to the veteran forward. As a league executive told Young, their asking price was higher than teams wanted to meet.
“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.”
Versatility is the name of the game in the modern NBA, we saw as much reflected in the trade deadline and buyout markets. Versatile forwards like Robert Covington, Andre Iguodala, and Marcus and Markieff Morris were all hot commodities that championship-contending teams were chasing after.
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Nearly every team with title aspirations has multiple forwards they can deploy. With his all-around offensive game and passable defense, Gay is sure to draw the interest of teams over the summer and into next season.
Complicating Gay’s future of the team is are the young Spurs nipping at his heels for playing time. We briefly saw what Keldon Johnson and Luka Samanic could do in the NBA but they spent most of their rookie seasons tearing through the G-League.
Both have shown tremendous promise, add in the Spurs likely selection of a wing or forward in this year’s draft and you quickly have a trio of young players who will need minutes to develop. San Antonio will have to weigh playing the soon to be 34-year-old Gay against giving playing time to players they’re trying to develop.
If the Spurs do decide that next year will be Rudy’s last in a Spurs uniform it would be better off to wait until the deadline to move him. Let teams figure out exactly what their needs are and then approach whoever seems to need a veteran forward most. Better to deal at the deadline than to see Gay leave in unrestricted free agency.
It’s going to be a complicated summer for the San Antonio Spurs, deciding how to navigate the final year of Rudy Gay’s contact will be just one of the multiple decisions that the front office will have to come to terms with over the coming months.