As Golden State Warriors media day took place in the Bay on Monday, one of the biggest surprises was the constant presence of veteran forward Rudy Gay.
The 37-year-old posed for photos in James Wiseman’s old no. 33, took to the podium to front the media, and was a regular point of discussion when teammates answered questions in their own press conference. It was all as if Gay was a solidified part of the team…except he’s not just yet.
Rudy Gay’s appearance at Media Day firmly suggests he’s the favorite to land the Golden State Warriors vacant 14th roster spot.
Last week ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Gay had signed a one-year deal with the Warriors, but that he’d compete for the team’s open 14th roster spot in training camp.
While Gay is a much more experienced and high-profile player than others on training camp deals, which includes Rodney McGruder, Kendric Davis, Javan Johnson and Donovan Williams, it was surprising to see him so regularly seen and mentioned at media day as if his place on the final roster was a fait accompli.
Speaking to 95.7 The Game’s Steiny and Guru on Monday, Gay confirmed he had other offers on the table but that “this one just felt different.” That quote suggests the 17-year veteran has some confidence in his ability to secure a guaranteed deal with the Warriors.
Gay will still have to show out in training camp and preseason starting on October 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers, but one gets the sense he’s already got one hand on the spot ahead of his younger competitors.
Golden State have already showcased their win-now approach by adding 38-year-old Chris Paul and showing interest in 37-year-old Dwight Howard this offseason. Gay would just be another step towards that mentality, with the franchise hoping to add a fifth NBA championship over the past decade.
The eighth overall pick in 2006, Gay averaged 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and one assist with the Utah Jazz last season, shooting just 38% from the field and 25.4% from three-point range.