Rudy Gay

Fischer’s Latest: Hield, Sixers, George, Pacers, Trae, Murray, More

Buddy Hield rejected a “significant” extension offer from Indiana in the fall, and with a lucrative new deal for Pascal Siakam to account for, the Pacers’ ability to retain Hield as a free agent this offseason was in doubt, which is why they sent him to the Sixers on Thursday, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Philadelphia, which doesn’t currently have any guaranteed money on its books beyond 2023/24 besides Joel Embiid‘s contract, is much better positioned to retain Hield, though the 76ers will likely consider many options with their projected cap room.

Echoing Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (Twitter video link), Fischer says star forward Paul George figures to be a top target for the Sixers if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Clippers in the coming weeks or months. Nuggets wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who holds a player option for 2024/25, has also been mentioned as a possible Philadelphia target, per Fischer.

The Sixers wouldn’t be the only team in play for George if he reaches free agency, according to Fischer, who suggests there have been whispers that the veteran is intrigued by the possibility of returning to Indiana and teaming up with Tyrese Haliburton. Such a move would be tricky – but certainly not impossible – from a cap perspective.

Philadelphia’s offseason outlook will hinge in part on what the team’s plans are for Tobias Harris. According to Fischer, the Sixers weren’t willing to include him in a deadline deal that would have sent him to Detroit, with Pistons wings Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks going to Philly. The Pistons may be in the mix for Harris in free agency this summer, Fischer notes, adding that Hornets forward Miles Bridges is another player expected to be on Detroit’s radar.

Here are a few more post-deadline items of interest from Fischer:

  • Multiple front offices came away from their conversations with the Hawks believing that Atlanta could make star guard Trae Young available this summer, says Fischer. However, he cautions that could “prove to be wishful thinking,” since the information is coming from rival teams rather than from the Hawks themselves. If Young were to hit the trade market, the Lakers and Spurs are among the clubs widely viewed as potential fits, Fischer adds.
  • League personnel anticipate that the Lakers will resume conversations with the Hawks about Dejounte Murray in the offseason, according to Fischer, who notes that the Pelicans could revisit their Murray talks at that point too. Atlanta is known to value multiple players on New Orleans’ roster, league sources Fischer, though one of those players – Naji Marshall – will be an unrestricted free agent this July.
  • Although there were several teams open to the idea of acquiring D’Angelo Russell, many front offices viewed his $18.7MM player option for 2024/25 as having negative value, Fischer reports. That thinking, along with Russell’s strong recent play, factored into the Lakers‘ decision to hang onto him through the deadline.
  • In addition to the recently released players who will hit the free agent market shortly, center Bismack Biyombo, forward Rudy Gay, and swingman Danny Green are among the veterans who were waived earlier in 2023/24 and continue to seek new NBA homes, Fischer writes, singling out Biyombo as a player expected to generate interest.

Warriors Waive Rudy Gay, Rodney McGruder

The Warriors have officially waived forward Rudy Gay and swingman Rodney McGruder, the team announced following the conclusion of Friday’s preseason finale (Twitter press release).

Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), who first reported the cuts, say that Golden State will open the season with just 13 players on standard contracts for added roster and financial flexibility, and will plan to add a 14th man within the first two weeks of the season. That player will likely be signed to a non-guaranteed contract.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team is permitted to carry fewer than 14 players on standard contracts for up to two weeks and up to 28 total days in a given season. That means if the Warriors don’t fill that 14th roster spot until two weeks into the season, they’d only be permitted to dip to 13 players again for up to 14 more days for the rest of the season.

Gay and McGruder, both NBA veterans, were believed to fighting for a single roster spot, but neither player earned significant playing time during the preseason. Gay registered four points and seven rebounds in 15 total minutes across two contests, while McGruder appeared in just one game, putting up eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.

Given that the Warriors will need to sign a 14th man soon, they could circle back to Gay, McGruder, or Javonte Green, who was also waived this week. If the team isn’t enamored of any of those vets, it could look elsewhere on the free agent market. Promoting a two-way player to a standard contract and then signing a new two-way player would be another option.

Gay and McGruder will clear waivers on Monday, assuming they go unclaimed.

Warriors Notes: Gay, Draymond, Paul, Kuminga

Warriors forward Rudy Gay signed a non-guaranteed Exhibit 9 contract to compete for a spot on the regular season roster. It’s the first time the accomplished veteran has been in this position in his lengthy career, but he’s confident he can still contribute.

I’ve been humbled so many times in my career, so it wasn’t nothing,” Gay told Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “This is the first time. Hopefully, the last. But it’s one of those things that you come in there and show my work. At the end of the day, throw some s— at the wall and see if it sticks.

I know I still got a lot to give and I can help a team in this situation. I feel like it’s a pretty good situation.”

The 37-year-old said he considered several non-guaranteed offers from NBA teams, but believed the Warriors gave him the best chance to compete for a title, according to Spears.

If you’re not competing for a championship 18 years in, what are you playing for?” Gay said. “I train my body all summer. The season is long. A lot of flights. You’re away from your family. You got to do it for something, especially at this point in my life.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green thinks Chris Paul will fit in well with Golden State, per Jordan Elliott of NBC Sports Bay Area. “When you can add a guy that has the respect around the league that Chris Paul has, that has the résumé that Chris Paul has, and the basketball knowledge, and the will to win that Chris Paul has, that’s a positive for any team,” Green said.
  • In a terrific story for The Athletic, Marcus Thompson II details how the Warriors’ annual trip to San Quentin prison shows Chris Paul‘s character and how he has embraced the team’s culture.
  • After failing to crack Golden State’s rotation at times during last season’s playoffs, third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga spent the offseason diligently working to improve his game, he tells Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I just want to keep growing as a basketball player,” Kuminga said. “Get better at reading the game. Making sure the game comes easier. Because the work you put in every day makes it easier. I was in the Bay as much as I could, just playing a lot. I did a lot this summer, just playing with the people that were coming in. Just trying to read the game, to be involved and learning the pace of the game and different things.” The former lottery pick hopes to be an All-Star within the next two seasons, according to Poole.

Warriors Notes: Green, Joseph, Payton, Thompson, Paul, Gay, McGruder

The Warriors provided a minor injury update on Draymond Green, who expects to miss four-to-six weeks with a left ankle sprain. According to the team, Green will be reevaluated in two weeks (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).

Golden State also had an update on veteran guard Cory Joseph, who signed with the Warriors in free agency. Joseph sustained a back injury while preparing with the Canadian national team for the World Cup, which caused him to miss the tournament.

According to Slater, the Warriors described the injury as a lower back lumbar strain, and Joseph will be reevaluated in two weeks. That means he’ll miss training camp.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • At Monday’s Media Day (Twitter links via ESPN’s Kendra Andrews), Green said he was disappointed with the injury, but he’s pleased with how his ankle is responding thus far and is focused on being in “even better shape by the time, whenever it is, that I start playing … it’s an opportunity for me to get better and continue to improve.”
  • Guard Gary Payton II was limited to just 15 games last season due to a lingering adductor injury, but he’s healthy now and says there’s a “night and day” difference entering 2023/24. “Ready to play 82 (games),” he said, per Slater (Twitter link).
  • Klay Thompson will be a free agent in 2024 unless he signs a contract extension. As Andrews tweets, Thompson says it’s “possible” a deal comes together in the next few months. “If not, life is still great,” he said. “I’m playing basketball in my 13th year in the NBA.”
  • There’s been a lot of speculation about who will start for the Warriors this season after the team traded for Chris Paul, who has never come off the bench in his long NBA career. But Paul noted that he was a reserve for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics, and he’s not concerned about starting in ’23/24. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m all about winning,” Paul said, per Andrews (Twitter link). “Whatever I can do to help the team win.”
  • According to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link), both Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder  signed non-guaranteed Exhibit 9 deals for training camp. Exhibit 9’s can only be one-year, minimum-salary contracts and do not count against the salary cap until the start of the regular season. Exhibit 9 contracts are primarily used to limit the team’s liability in the event of an injury.

Pacific Notes: Vincent, Primo, Gay, McGruder, Suns

In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, Gabe Vincent said he isn’t upset that Lakers coach Darvin Ham has already chosen D’Angelo Russell as his starting point guard. Vincent is only a few months removed from starting for the Heat in the NBA Finals, but he’s willing to accept a reserve role with his new team.

“That’s something for D-Ham to worry about,” Vincent said. “I’m not the coach. I don’t set lineups. I just go out there and do my job. I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win games and help this organization win games. As I’ve seen in the past, every night doesn’t always look the same. With that big picture in mind with trying to help us win, I’ll wear whatever hat is needed.”

L.A. signed Vincent to a three-year contract worth $33MM, so he’s obviously in the team’s plans even if he won’t start right away. Vincent had several options in free agency, but he liked the idea of playing for Ham because they have similar backgrounds.

“I think it’s just in general his route,” Vincent said. “I think there are some similarities between me and him in that regard and his journey. He spent some time in the G League as did I. There are some similarities that we have naturally, even when we sit down and talk the game and catch up. It’s seamless. We get along well. D Ham has been great. He’s been very real. So I definitely have appreciated him early in this process.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

Warriors Sign Six Players, Including Rudy Gay

The Warriors have signed free agents Rudy Gay, Rodney McGruder, Donovan Williams, Kendric Davis, Javan Johnson and Jayce Johnson ahead of training camp, the team announced on Thursday (via Twitter).

All of the deals had previously been reported except for Davis’. The 5’11” guard went undrafted in June and worked out for Golden State the month prior.

Davis averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.7 RPG and 2.0 SPG in 34 games (34.9 MPG) as a “super senior” with Memphis in 2022/23. He likely received a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract, which would put him in line for a $75K bonus if he’s waived before ’23/24 starts and spends at least 60 days with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s NBA G League affiliate. Exhibit 10 deals can also be converted into two-way contracts, and the Warriors have one two-way opening.

A 17-year veteran forward who regularly averaged in the neighborhood of 20 points per game during stints in Memphis, Toronto, and Sacramento earlier in his career, Gay is the most noteworthy signing of the group. However, his playing time and production have declined in recent seasons, and he’s 37 years old. Like all the other additions, he’ll be competing for a roster spot in training camp.

McGruder, 32, is a seven-year NBA veteran, appearing in 317 regular season games with the Heat, Clippers and Pistons since 2016. The guard/forward averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.1 RPG on a .441/.412/.768 shooting line over the past three seasons with Detroit (99 games, 14.9 MPG).

Williams reportedly impressed the Warriors during scrimmages at their facility earlier this month. The former UNLV wing spent part of last season on a two-way contract with the Hawks after going undrafted in 2022.

Javan Johnson, a former DePaul forward, went undrafted in June. The 24-year-old started 33 games for the Blue Demons last season, averaging 14.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 2.4 APG while making 41.2% of his 3-point attempts.

Jayce Johnson, a 7’0″ center, led the NBA G League in rebounds per game last season while playing for Santa Cruz. He signed an Exhibit 10 deal and will be vying for the team’s final two-way slot.

The Warriors now have a full 21-man training camp roster, with 13 players on guaranteed standard contracts.

Warriors, Rudy Gay Agree To One-Year Deal

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.

Bulls Notes: Luxury Tax, Rotation, Williams, Dosunmu

The Bulls will likely be close to the luxury tax threshold all season, but K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago doesn’t expect them to be willing to end the year in tax territory. Executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas said on draft night that he would lobby ownership to pay the tax for a contender, but Johnson states that it’s hard to see him getting approval for a team that finished 10th in the East last season.

Johnson estimates that the Bulls are about $2.4MM away from tax territory with two open roster spots. He expects the team to unload point guard Carlik Jones, whose non-guaranteed $1.9MM salary is roughly the same as a veteran’s minimum contract, and try to get frontcourt help instead.

Johnson adds that filling both roster openings with minimum contracts would put Chicago slightly over the tax line. He expects management to keep one spot open heading into the season and see what opportunities become available to add players. The Bulls have about half of their $12.4MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception remaining, along with a $4.5MM bi-annual exception and a $10.2MM disabled player exception that was granted for Lonzo Ball‘s injury.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Billy Donovan‘s 10-man rotation appears set with training camp two months away, and the biggest questions seem to be who will start at point guard and power forward, Johnson adds in the same piece. If Donovan continues his emphasis on defense, Johnson expects newly acquired Torrey Craig to get the nod at power forward, with either Alex Caruso or free agent addition Jevon Carter running the point. The return of Derrick Jones Jr. or a free agent signing such as Rudy Gay could upend the current rotation, Johnson adds, possibly pushing out Andre Drummond.
  • Bulls officials want Patrick Williams to become more aggressive as he enters his fourth NBA season, according to Johnson. Williams returned from an injury to play all 82 games last season, and Johnson believes the organization should be patient with a player who won’t turn 22 until next month.
  • The Bulls may have slightly overpaid for Ayo Dosunmu, but keeping him on the roster was still a good move, contends Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The restricted free agent received $21MM over three years and now has to make a case for consistent playing time in a crowded backcourt.

Scotto’s Latest: Tucker, Gay, Sumner, Noel

With James Harden‘s trade request still unresolved, teams are monitoring the future of his Sixers teammate P.J. Tucker. According to a report from HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, Tucker has come up in trade discussions between the 76ers and the Clippers, Harden’s reported preferred destination. The Clippers “covet” Tucker’s ability to guard multiple positions, according to Scotto.

Tucker, a teammate of Harden’s on the Rockets from 2017-21, joined the 76ers last summer on a three-year, $33MM deal to reunite with Harden and former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Harden and Tucker are close, with Harden reportedly taking less money last offseason to help bring Tucker aboard one of the Eastern Conference’s top contenders.

Tucker, a 12-year NBA veteran, is owed $11MM this upcoming season and has a player option worth $11.5MM for the 2024/25 season. At 38 years old, Tucker is one of the oldest active players in the NBA but he hasn’t shown any mileage yet, starting in all 75 of his appearances last season and averaging 25.6 minutes.

There’s more from Scotto:

  • Free agent forward Rudy Gay, who was recently released by the Thunder, is drawing interest from several potential playoff teams, according to Scotto. The Warriors, Lakers, Mavericks, Bulls and Pelicans have all registered interest in Gay, per Scotto. Gay will be 37 by the time next season starts and while his role has diminished in each of the past three seasons, he’s still a seasoned veteran with 17 years of NBA experience. Gay averaged 5.2 points last season. Each team linked to Gay has at least one roster spot open and could offer him a one-year, veteran’s minimum which, for a player with 10+ years of experience, is worth roughly $3.2MM next season.
  • Free agent guard Edmond Sumner, who was recently let go by the Nets, is also drawing attention from multiple teams, according to Scotto. The Hornets, Bucks, Raptors, Heat and Suns all have registered interest in the 27 year old. Scotto says that some of the named teams appear more likely than others to pursue a deal with Sumner. The Bucks have one roster spot open and no true point guard behind Jrue Holiday, but those around the league expect Milwaukee’s final spot to go to Thanasis Antetokounmpo, according to Scotto. The Suns also just filled their final standard roster spot with Bol Bol, so they would have to create space elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Heat are reportedly in a holding pattern amid Damian Lillard trade talks. On the other hand, the Hornets are searching for veteran point guard help and the Raptors lack point guard depth behind new addition Dennis Schröder.
  • Before agreeing to a one-year deal with the Kings, center Nerlens Noel drew exploratory interest from the Lakers and Bulls, according to Scotto. The Lakers’ interest, in particular, is noteworthy due to their reported desire to add frontcourt depth to their roster. Free agent big men Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo have also recently been linked to the Lakers.

Thunder Waive Rudy Gay

JULY 20: The Thunder have officially released Gay, per a press statement.

JULY 19: The Thunder are waiving forward Rudy Gay, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Gay, who turns 37 next month, has been traded twice this offseason. The Jazz sent him to Atlanta in the John Collins deal, and then the Hawks moved him to Oklahoma City in a salary dump.

As Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets, releasing Gay will open up a roster spot, which the Thunder will use to officially sign Jack White. The two sides agreed to the terms of a contract on July 1, but OKC made some trades to add draft assets, temporarily putting the deal on hold.

Gay has had a long and highly productive NBA career, often popping up on lists of the best players to have never been an All-Star. He averaged at least 17 points and five rebounds per game in 10 consecutive seasons from 2007-2017 with the Grizzlies, Raptors and Kings.

While the 17-year veteran was still a solid performer as recently as 2020/21 with the Spurs, he battled injuries over his two seasons with the Jazz, appearing in just 111 of a possible 164 regular season games. His production slipped as well, with Gay posting career lows in virtually every major statistic over the past two campaigns.

Overall, Gay has appeared in 1120 regular season contests, including 779 starts, with career averages of 15.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.7 BPG on .452/.346/.799 shooting in 30.9 MPG. In ’22/23, he averaged just 5.2 PPG and 2.9 RPG on .380/.254/.857 shooting in 56 games (14.6 MPG).

Gay is virtually certain to go unclaimed on the waiver wire, as he’ll earn a guaranteed $6,479,000 in ’23/24, which is the final year of his contract. The Thunder will be on the hook for that full amount in a couple days if he isn’t claimed, while the former UConn star will become an unrestricted free agent.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic previously identified the Warriors as a team that might be interested in Gay if he were to hit the open market.