Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay
33-Year-Old ForwardF
San Antonio Spurs
Injury Rest
Est. Return 10/16/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gay will be back in San Antonio this season after signing a two-year, $32 million deal to return to the Spurs. Despite starting 51 games last season, Gay played the second-fewest minutes (26.7) of his career. Gay enjoyed his most efficient shooting season as a pro, shooting 50.4 percent from the floor and 40.2 percent from downtown. He managed just 13.7 points per game -- the third-lowest mark in his career -- though he did that on a respectable 10.8 shots per contest. Gay was forced into the starting lineup frequently last season due to a variety of injuries to his teammates, though he is expected to primarily come off the bench in his 14th season. His defensive efforts have been minimal over the last two seasons, but Gay is still a good source of rebounds, pulling down a career-high 6.8 boards in 2018-19. The 33-year-old veteran may not put up the big point totals we saw in Memphis and Sacramento, but if he can maintain his newfound efficiency, he'll be a valuable fantasy asset. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Spurs in July of 2019.
Resting Sunday
FSan Antonio Spurs
October 13, 2019
Gay will be rested for Sunday's game against New Orleans, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Gay will join LaMarcus Aldridge on the sideline as the Spurs rest two of their key frontcourt veterans.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After spending just over three years in Sacramento, Gay decided to join a playoff contender in the Spurs and took a fairly significant pay cut in doing so. Even with the change of scenery, injuries once again crept into the picture and Gay ended up missing a stretch of 23 games while dealing with bursitis in his left heel. That marked his second straight season playing less than 60 games. In addition to the the extended absence, Gay also saw his workload take a significant hit. The veteran averaged just 21.6 minutes, which was far-and-away a career low -- Gay averaged 33.8 minutes in his final season with Sacramento in 2016-17. He finished the campaign averaging 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while knocking down just 31.4 percent of his three-pointers. That kept him out of the picture in all but deeper Fantasy leagues, though his contributions as a mentor and as a reliable bench presence still made him a valuable basketball player for the Spurs. Looking forward to the upcoming season, Gay should have a chance at a bounce-back showing. The Spurs dealt superstar Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan should slot into the starting lineup at shooting guard, but Leonard's absence, as well as the departure of Kyle Anderson in free agency, means Gay has a clearer path to playing time at the two forward positions and seems destined to see a bump in his playing time. It will likely only be a slight jump considering the 31-year-old is coming off of two straight injury-plagued seasons, but it's encouraging nonetheless. All of that said, owners still may want to temper expectations a bit because of Gay's injury history and coach Gregg Popovich's propensity to rest his veterans at random points throughout the season.
Gay's 2016-17 campaign was marred by injury, with the 30-year-old forward rupturing his left Achilles tendon in January, which resulted in him missing the bulk of the season. That limited Gay to just 30 games, where he averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 three-pointers across 33.8 minutes. While the recovery process has treated him well and he's fully expected to be ready by training camp, Gay is still heading into a situation that isn't going to benefit his Fantasy value. Gay surprisingly declined his $14.3 million player option to remain with the Kings and instead took a hefty discount to join a contender in the Spurs at just $8.4 million annually over two years. He'll be transitioning into a bench role for the first time since his rookie season and is largely expected to do most of his work behind the likes of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge at the two forward spots. When you add together the fact that he'll be playing behind one of the best players in the league, he's coming off a significant injury and he's playing for a coach that loves to rest his veteran players, Gay's value will likely take a significant hit. He's sure to see a decline in production across the board, although look for Gay to potentially settle in as the team's sixth man if he can stay healthy.
Gay filled his familiar role as the top sidekick to DeMarcus Cousins last season, but turned in one of his most disappointing years as a professional, with his 17.2 points and 1.7 assists per game both ranking as his third-lowest averages in 10 NBA seasons. Cousins’ climbing usage rate may have contributed to the demise of Gay’s role in the offense, as the veteran forward also attempted two fewer shots per game than the year before. On a positive note, Gay seemed to benefit from some cleaner looks, raising his mark from the field to 46.3 percent, while also noticing bumps in his rebounds (from 5.9 per game in 2014-15 to 6.5 in 2015-16) and steals (1.0 to 1.4). The 30-year-old enters the coming season as one of the Kings’ primary scorers, but the team has made it no secret that he’s on the trade block. As a 34.4 percent career three-point shooter who needs the ball and doesn’t add a ton of a defensive value, Gay doesn’t fit the mold for what most contending clubs are looking for, making it difficult for the Kings to shed his $13.3 million contract for 2016-17. Perhaps a reunion with new Kings coach Dave Joerger, who worked as an assistant in Memphis under Lionel Hollins when Gay was with the Grizzlies, could help ignite the forward’s trade value, but if not, he’ll still provide some quality counting stats and respectable marks from the field and free-throw line for those rostering him in fantasy leagues.
Entering the first year of a three-year, $40 million contract extension with Sacramento, Gay enjoyed one of the most productive seasons of his career. In 68 games played, Gay averaged 21.1 points and 3.7 assists while shooting 86 percent from the line, all which registered as career-highs. A midseason coaching change and emphasis on up-tempo play from George Karl seemed to invigorate Gay, who increased his offensive output to 23.9 points per game and shot 48 percent from the field and 39 percent from beyond the arc in the second half of the season. Gay's biggest strength is his ability to create his own shot and score from all over the court. His main weakness is his inability to maintain focus on the defensive end, along with getting caught up in isolation plays for himself on offense. Gay will now get the benefit of playing with a defensive-minded big man in rookie Willie Cauley Stein and a pass-first point guard in Rajon Rondo. Entering his 10th NBA season, Gay still possesses the talent to produce as an elite-level small forward this upcoming season.
A month-and-a-half into the 2013-14 season, the Raptors made the decision to send Gay and his inflated contract to the Kings in exchange for a package centered around Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson. Prior to the deal, Gay was off to the worst start of his career, shooting 39 percent from the field while attempting a career-high 18.6 field goals per game. Gay would only play 18 games for the Raptors. Astonishingly, he failed to top 50-percent shooting in any of those games. After the trade, however, Gay was a different player. His scoring average saw a moderate bump, but it was the efficiency that caught the eyes of the league. In 55 games for Sacramento, Gay shot a career-high 48 percent from the field, despite making only 31 percent of his three-pointers – well below his career average of 34 percent. Gay's two-point percentage skyrocketed from a career-low (by far) 39 percent pre-trade, to a career-best 52 percent post-trade. He also added 5.5 rebounds and a career-best 3.1 assists per game. Over the summer, Gay exercised his $19.3 million player option for the 2014-15 season, as expected. He'll return to join DeMarcus Cousins in one of the most intriguing, but enigmatic frontcourt duos in the Western Conference. The Kings hope Gay can use the second half of last season and a summer with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup as a springboard to more consistent, efficient production.
In 33 games with the Raptors last season, Gay saw modest jumps from his Memphis numbers across the board in every counting stat. However, his production in those categories comes at a cost. The most disturbing development surrounding Gay's 2012-13 campaign was a steep drop off in efficiency from the field. In his previous five seasons, he shot between 45 and 47 percent from the field, but last season that fell to 42 percent while his field goals attempted per game stayed relatively constant. Gay has averaged better than 1.2 steals per game in every season since his rookie year, and he has steadily averaged around 6.0 boards per game, but he has also averaged 2.5 turnovers per contest for his career, and after joining the Raptors, that climbed to 2.9 per game, which, over a full season would represent a career high. Despite playing alongside similar players in DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross, Gay will have the freedom to hoist to his heart's content and could approach 20 points per game, but he's certainly not without his flaws.
Gay brings a lot to the table from a fantasy perspective, and his averages in the counting stats have been almost identical each of the past five seasons. The only negative on Gay’s resume from last season was his poor shooting from outside. He hoisted 2.7 threes per game, but only connected on 31.2 percent of them, down from 39.6 percent shooting from long range in 2010-11. After missing the end of the 2010-11 season with a dislocated shoulder, Gay returned last year and played in 65 of 66 games. He has averaged between 18-to-21 points per game each of the past five seasons, while maintaining a field goal percentage of 45 percent or better. He’s not much of a distributer, but his averages of 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks helped keep him in the top tiers of small forwards to target in drafts.
Gay was one of only two players to average over one block, three-pointer, and steal per game last season, the other being Kevin Durant. Unfortunately for Gay’s owners, he dislocated his shoulder so badly he was forced to undergo season-ending surgery. Gay’s expected to be ready to participate in regular activity by September, putting him in great position to start the 2011-12 season. Through 54 games played last season, Gay averaged 19.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 three-pointer, 1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 40 minutes. With his efficiency beyond the arc increasing last season, we might see Gay start to hoist up more three-pointers this season, a development that would raise his fantasy value even higher.
After his breakout 2007-08 season, there were a lot of reasons to be excited about Rudy Gay. About 134 of them, you could say, as that was the number of three pointers he hit. And as he was just entering his age-22 season, even the most conservative projections would've called for him to improve, both in that category and all across the board. But he didn't. Not at all. In fact, he regressed. In 2008-09, playing in only two fewer games than the season before, Gay's total three pointers dropped by 48, to 85. Basically everything else declined, as well: points per game (by over a point per game), rebounds (by 0.7), assists (0.3), steals (0.2), blocks (0.3), field goal percentage (by 0.9), and free throw percentage (by 1.7) – all this despite his playing time rising slightly. In retrospect, it's likely the arrival of O.J. Mayo had a bigger-than-expected effect, but even factoring in Mayo's touches beforehand, the downward trend was surprising. Appropriately, it was difficult to know what Gay's 2009-10 would look like, especially when accounting for the arrival of Zach Randolph – and, to a lesser extent, center Marc Gasol. Would Gay continue to decline? Would his touches dry up? All things considered, last season was probably almost as surprisingly pleasant as the previous season was disappointing. The three-point totals continued to recede (only 66 on the season), but most everything else saw a slight improvement. And with a very similar cast returning this season, it's reasonable to expect something similar.
Gay took a step back in his third NBA season, producing slightly worse numbers in all nine rotisserie categories after his stellar sophomore campaign. There’s reason to be optimistic about him, though, as he was extremely impressive during the Team USA practices this summer against the best young talent in the NBA. Gay is also entering a contract year, and has had a full season to get used to playing next to another high-scoring wing in O.J. Mayo on a Grizzlies team that, on paper looks like an up-and-comer. Gay is 6-9 with extremely long arms and outstanding leaping ability, with the quickness to defend most guards and the strength to hold his own at power forward. He has shown the ability to make an impact as a help defender and knock down the trey at a decent clip, and with two-year averages of almost 46 percent shooting from the field and almost 78 percent shooting from the line, he has the potential to be an eight-category contributor with assists as his only noticeable weak spot. If Gay does break out he has Danny Granger-type potential, making him a nice name to call a few rounds after Granger in your draft.
On physical ability alone, Gay’s potential has always been off the charts, but observers worried that he just didn’t like basketball all that much. Gay took a bit of a tumble in the 2006 Draft after developing a reputation for occasionally sleepwalking through games. But he woke up as a rookie with a campaign that earned him a first-team All-Rookie selection. As a sophomore he was even better, nearly doubling his scoring average to 20.1 points per game while posting significant improvement in his shooting percentages and every significant roto category. Primarily a wing, the 6-9 Gay has developed the strength to play on the low block at times – which may be necessary on a Memphis team that looks terribly thin in the big man department. But he hasn’t sacrificed the speed and agility that make him a very tough assignment for most threes, and an emerging long-range shooting touch (1.7 threes per game in 2007-08) will make him even harder to defend.
Gay is a tremendous physical specimen, 6-9, with the wingspan of a pterodactyl and “leap-out-of-the-gym” athleticism. He’s blessed with all the tools to emerge as a superstar in the NBA. But questions about his mental approach – and a tendency to disappear during games he should have dominated at the college level – knocked him out of contention to be the top pick in the 2006 draft. Memphis grabbed him with the eighth overall pick and was rewarded with a first team All-Rookie performance. Gay finished the year by averaging almost 14 points and six rebounds after the All-Star break. Gay also had a strong showing at the Las Vegas Summer League this past summer, and with a full season under his belt he could be on tap for a breakout sophomore campaign.
More Fantasy News
Expected to re-sign with Spurs
FSan Antonio Spurs
June 30, 2019
Gay is expected to sign a two-year, $32 million contract to return to the Spurs when free agency opens Sunday evening, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Leads the way in Game 7 loss
FSan Antonio Spurs
April 28, 2019
Gay amassed 21 points (8-17 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 3-3 FT), eight rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 33 minutes during Saturday's 90-86 loss to the Nuggets.
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Productive effort in Game 6 win
FSan Antonio Spurs
April 26, 2019
Gay amassed 19 points (7-11 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 28 minutes during Thursday's 120-103 victory over the Nuggets.
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Double-doubles off bench
FSan Antonio Spurs
April 18, 2019
Gay totaled 11 points (2-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 6-8 FT), 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal across 24 minutes in the Spurs' win over the Nuggets on Thursday.
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Snags 10 boards in season finale
FSan Antonio Spurs
April 10, 2019
Gay registered seven points (2-10 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, and three assists in 28 minutes during Wednesday's 105-94 win over the Mavericks.
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