The Warriors and free agent forward Rudy Gay are in agreement on a one-year contract, agent Sam Permut tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Gay will compete in training camp for a spot on Golden State’s regular season roster.
Gay, 37, spent the last two seasons in Utah and exercised a player option to guarantee his $6.48MM salary for 2023/24. However, he was traded twice this offseason – first to Atlanta in the John Collins deal and then to Oklahoma City as part of a package for Patty Mills – and was subsequently waived by the Thunder, making him an unrestricted free agent in July.
A 17-year veteran who regularly averaged in the neighborhood of 20 points per game during stints in Memphis, Toronto, and Sacramento earlier in his career, Gay has seen his playing time and his production decline in recent seasons.
His 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 14.6 minutes per game in 56 appearances with the Jazz in 2022/23 were all career lows, as were his 38.0% field goal percentage and a 25.4% mark on three-point tries.
Still, Gay put up decent scoring numbers off the bench for several years prior to last season, so the Warriors – who were identified in July as one of several clubs to register interest in the forward and were rumored to be in the market for a wing – will take a flier on him this fall to see what he still has left in the tank.
Golden State currently has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts and a pair on two-way deals, so the club could technically carry three additional players into the regular season — two on standard contracts and one on a two-way pact. However, Gay is ineligible to be a two-way player and it’s unclear whether the Warriors intend to fill all 15 of their standard roster slots. Leaving the 15th spot open would give the Dubs more in-season flexibility and would help reduce their end-of-season luxury tax bill.
If the Warriors only carry 14 players on standard contracts to open the season and don’t trade or waive anyone with a guaranteed salary, Gay would have to beat out fellow veteran wing Rodney McGruder and any other camp invitees for that final spot.
The full terms of Gay’s one-year deal aren’t yet known, but it will be worth the veteran’s minimum, which is all Golden State can offer. We’ll have to wait to see whether it includes any guaranteed money.