Former Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay has a new home. For now.
It’s not easy being a mid-range scorer who’s aging out of the league and sadly, that’s the position that Rudy Gay has found himself in. Once, one of the best-scoring forwards in the league and maybe the best player of his generation to never make an All-Star game. Yet, he’s no longer a young man. He’s 37 and one bad outing away from being out of the league.
The long-time Memphis Grizzlies player has one more shot at glory, as he’s agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors for one year. The deal is not guaranteed, and Gay is being brought in to compete for the open roster spot the Warriors currently have.
Gay has some things going for him. If he can find his groove once again, he is an effective mid-range scorer. He’s long and while he doesn’t have the quickness he used to have, he was still good enough to be a nice wing defender.
He also has some hindrances. He’s not quick enough to get around younger defenders, and that not only affected his points per game (career-low 5.2) but also his accuracy when he shot (career-low 38% from the floor). He’s never been a great three-point shooter (34.6% for his career) but his three-point shooting fell off a cliff in 2023 (25.4%).
He provides some experience and as mentioned, if he builds up some stamina in his legs, and works on his jumper, he can provide a catch-and-shoot option deep at the end of the bench for the Warriors, with fresh enough knees to eat five fouls in a game.
But if he’s going to try and be the bruising forward, who would try and get around defenders and hit a nice mid-range jumper, or attack the paint, that’s just not going to happen anymore.
It’ll be interesting to see what Gay does to his game to change things up so that he can hopefully make this team.