2019 NBA free agency: 5 potential landing spots for Rudy Gay

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

A talented forward with an injury-riddled past, Rudy Gay still has what’s necessary to make an impact for a number of teams in 2019 NBA free agency.

Over the last few seasons, Rudy Gay‘s career has led him to circumstances he never thought would be placed in front of him. A midseason Achilles tear forced him out of the lineup during the 2016-17 season. As an unrestricted free agent the coming summer, it was a death blow to a talented scorer heavily reliant on his explosive athleticism.

He was a damaged asset, one that few if any teams were willing to put their faith in. As many such players have come to do over the years, Gay wound up a member of the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2017 in the hopes of revitalizing his career.

Year one back from such a devastating injury is never a fun ride, and that applied to Gay. Having dominated the basketball for most of his career, he was forced to take a backseat to the likes of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, coming off the bench while rounding back into form.


His field goal attempts per game were the lowest ever, while his points per game were his second-lowest career mark ahead of only his rookie season. A lesser burden made all the sense in the world to help ease Gay back into the flow of NBA basketball, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch for a guy with a career scoring average of 17.6 points per game.

There were questions about what he could still bring to the table at 31 years old, but Gay seemed to answer them in his second go-around with the Spurs. He averaged 13.7 points per game mostly as the starting power forward, with career-best marks in rebounds per game as well as field goal and 3-point percentage.

Gay won’t ever be able to carry as heavy a scoring load as he once did, but standing 6’8” with the ability to create and shoot from beyond the arc, his versatile skill-set is a valued commodity among NBA circles.

At a projected $474 million, the summer of 2019 will see more available cap space than the previous two offseasons combined. Gay won’t be any team’s No. 1 target, which makes it difficult to predict a salary range. Whichever squad signs him, though, will get an undervalued talent that’s proven to work just fine.