Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (that'll take some getting used to) reported last night that the Golden State Warriors will pursue Rudy Gay if unrestricted free agent Andre Iguodala decides to go elsewhere.
Although some have speculated that Iguodala is merely entertaining offers to increase his leverage for negotiations with the Warriors, the idea that he could leave is picking up steam as he appears to be actively seeking out meetings with other contenders rather than passively considering their offers.
.@wojespn says on SportsCenter that, if Andre Iguodala leaves, the Warriors are potentially interested in Rudy Gay.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) July 1, 2017
Woj on ESPN: Iguodala reached out to the Spurs about the meeting.— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) July 1, 2017
Also Rudy Gay looks to be the backup plan for GSW.
Woj was on ESPN saying Rudy Gay would be pursued hard by Warriors as he and Durant are close. Said Iggy could be gone.— Nate Timmons (@NateTimmonsCSG) July 1, 2017
While some outlets are noting how Gay would fit the Warriors as a player who can play both the 3 and 4, let's be very clear about something: Gay would do little to replace what Iguodala offers on defense. And while he has a reputation as a scorer, he's also a notoriously inefficient mid-range shooter although his last four years with the Sacramento Kings were the most efficient of his career (.554 TS% over four seasons, according to Basketball-Reference).
I don't know about the rest of y'all but I'd love to see Klay, KD, Steph & Dray standing around while Rudy Gay is jacking contested jumpers.— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) July 1, 2017
So this should go without saying, but Gay is hardly a direct replacement for Iguodala if he might benefit from being in the Warriors’ system if he can drop some bad habits. Additionally, he's coming off an Achilles injury so it's hard to know exactly what he’ll offer.
Gay was initially rumored to be headed to the San Antonio Spurs, but that turned out to be false as the two parties had only made initial contact.
The reason to hold out hope for Iguodala to return remains simple: nobody else can offer what the Warriots offer, which includes a championship roster, rest during the regular season while still contending, a role that maximizes his skillset, and proximity to Silicon Valley for his interests beyond basketball.
Most of all, we can hope that Iguodala eventually comes to the same conclusion that Shaun Livingston came to.