Health should be the priority for San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay.
For a veteran player with a long and unfortunate injury history, the Orlando bubble for a team so far out fo the playoff picture just doesn’t seem worth it. I don’t think anyone would hold it against veteran forward Rudy Gay if he sat out of the 2019-20 playoffs with his health and long-term future in mind.
Gay has just one more year left on his contract after this one and after nearly reaching the 50/40/90 club a year ago, he needs to rebuild his stock as a free-agent if he wants to secure one last legitimate contract before reaching his twilight. Therefore, Gay might be smart to preserve his health and let the young guns take his minutes at the end of the year.
Few players were confirmed to have taken part in Kyrie Irving’s meeting to discuss whether or not players should return and Rudy was one of them. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s for calling off the season, as many of the players in that meeting felt the opposite way, but his personal circumstances may suggest that his time would be better spent focusing on his family and side-projects including philanthropy, fashion and social justice reform.
As the second-oldest player on a young team, Gay has made enough money to accept his pay reduction and count on next year’s deal to make up for what he’s lost. Coming back from an Achilles injury and becoming a better version of yourself is nearly unheard of, but Gay did it with the silver and black, and putting all of the hard work he’s done on his body and game just isn’t worth coming back for a team with such a low chance of making the playoffs.
Even if the Spurs do make the playoffs, it’ll be to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, which isn’t a matchup they want any part of. Gay would be wise to stay at home.