The San Antonio Spurs have generated their first off-season buzz by signing veteran guard/forward Rudy Gay. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the new deal for Rudy is for two years worth $17.2 million. Gay was a member of the Sacramento Kings last season and suffered an ACL injury that kept him out the entire season.
He will now be competing for a team that finished one series short of reaching the NBA Finals this past season. Gay has only competed in the playoffs one time during his 11-year NBA career while he was a member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Signing with San Antonio, Gay will be joining forces with All-Star forward, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Prior to his season-ending injury, Rudy averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. When healthy, he has been proven to be one of the best scorers in the league.
The Spurs may desperately need Rudy to stay healthy and provide his high-level of scoring if they want to have the best chance possible at beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors. For his career, he averages 18.4 points per game, but has played for a Sacramento franchise that lacked the experience to be a playoff contender in the Western Conference in his last four seasons.
San Antonio led the Warriors by more than 20 points in game one of the Western Conference Finals. However, when Leonard suffered an ankle injury during the third quarter and had to sit out the rest of the game, Golden State staged a huge comeback and ended up pulling out the win.
LaMarcus Aldridge was heavily criticized after that game and the rest of the series for his lack of scoring in the absence of Leonard. So much that it led to trade rumors in June on draft night. It was rumored that the Spurs were looking to trade Aldridge for a top-ten draft pick. Unfortunately for the team, they did not receive any offers.
Moving forward, the acquisition of Gay should provide a boost to San Antonio’s offense. Whether or not his addition is enough to move closer to winning an NBA title should depend on Gay’s ability to stay healthy.
[Featured Image by Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images]