With 13 contracted players for next season after the acquisitions of Cory Joseph and Dario Saric, the Golden State Warriors appear in no hurry to add another free agent from the declining pool of players.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater confirmed as much in his article on Tuesday, suggesting Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Warrior front office will await the outcome of other potential roster moves around the league.
The Golden State Warriors will be hoping history repeats with the potential free agent addition of a veteran forward on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to Slater, Rudy Gay is someone to watch for the Warriors with their 14th roster spot. Although the 36-year-old is currently contracted with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’s a prime candidate to become available in the coming months given his age and the fact OKC have too many players on their roster at present.
"“Somebody has to shake loose before the start of the season”, Slater wrote. “Gay has $6.5 million left on an expiring deal and doesn’t fit the Thunder’s timeline. He seems like a cut candidate and is someone the Warriors have had interest in the past. He’s a name to monitor.”"
As Slater also pointed out, the Warriors have a recent history of acquiring veteran forwards that have been waived or bought out by the Thunder. Golden State signed JaMychal Green after he reached an agreement with OKC last offseason, and a similar situation could play out again with Gay.
While history could repeat in that regard, the Warriors would be hoping to get more out of Gay than they did Green should it eventuate. The 16-year NBA veteran averaged 14.6 minutes with the Utah Jazz last season, averaging 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1 assist, although he shot just 38% from the field and 25.4% from three-point range.
Gay is far from the backup center many fans crave as insurance to starting big man Kevon Looney. However, according to Basketball Reference, the 6’8″ forward has spent 20 and 23% of his playing time as a five with the Jazz across the last two seasons. That could give Golden State another small-ball center option alongside Saric and Draymond Green.
Gay was initially traded by the Jazz to the Atlanta Hawks on July 7, before being immediately dealt to the Thunder. He has averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2 assists across a distinguished NBA career.