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Rudy Gay is a past Warriors’ trade machine dream come true

Over a decade in the making, Gay now has a chance to don Golden State’s uniform.

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

When word broke this week that the Golden State Warriors signed 37-year old veteran swingman Rudy Gay, it was like the completion of a trade machine fever dream from Dub Nation’s past imagination.

The Dubs’ hunt for Gay has been over a decade in the making. Did you know Gay was drafted at the #8 spot in the 2006 draft, just one step spot ahead of Golden State’s #9 selection?

In 2012 Gay was declared by Bleacher Report to be the most underrated star in the league, standing at 6-foot-8 with a smooth combination of power and athleticism, with a deep bag of scoring tricks at his disposal.

Gay is the fourth-best small forward in the league behind the elite trio of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.

Indeed, he’s not the most underrated star in the NBA. If Rudy Gay isn’t the most underrated superstar in the NBA, then who is?

That same year Marcus Thompson II reported that when the Dubs were chasing after Andre Iguodala they also had Gay on their radar:

Golden State has long since had interest in Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who is exactly the playmaking athlete the Warriors need at small forward. Other small forwards high on their list, according to league sources, are Portland’s Nick Batum, Indiana’s Danny Granger and Memphis’ Rudy Gay.

And in 2013 a report came from an NBA insider that the Dubs turned down a trade offer for the versatile wing:

The Golden State Warriors reportedly turned down an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies to land coveted small forward Rudy Gay this past week, and some may be surprised at the team’s decision.

According to former NBA TV analyst Peter Vecsey, the Grizzlies offered Gay to the Warriors in exchange for Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and either Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson, who both hold hefty contracts themselves.

Gay would go on to have a solid career, never making an All-NBA or an All-Star team, but getting buckets for five different teams. Now he has a chance to finally make the dreams of the both the Warriors’ organization and fans come true and get some more buckets.

And at the very least provide some strong locker room leadership for a team bringing along some young lottery picks. Here’s an excerpt from Gay’s season review from the Deseret News:

It’s not easy to accept that you aren’t the focal point of a roster, that Father Time has caught up. The most impressive thing that Gay did this season was accept his place in the NBA, and he did it with grace. He admitted that it was a difficult thing to do, but he didn’t want people to remember him as a person who went out kicking and screaming and complaining.

If you want to look at the stats, and see a career-low 3-point percentage of 25.4% for Gay and judge his performance based on his on-court production, you’re welcome to. But also remember that he only played 15 minutes per game and rarely took more than five shots per game. He wasn’t taking valuable time away from other players and he was helping the younger players on the court when he was out there.


Do you expect Rudy Gay to get playing time as a Warrior this season?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Yes, he will be a weapon in the team’s small ball lineups.
    (170 votes)
  • 35%
    Absolutely not, the team doesn’t need him
    (92 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now

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