Report: Rudy Gay expected to draw interest from Lakers, Warriors and other playoff-caliber teams

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to try to put the finishing touches on their roster for this season, and they reportedly are expected to be one of several teams interested in free agent Rudy Gay.

“Veteran forward Rudy Gay is expected to draw interest from several playoff-caliber teams, including the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, and New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told HoopsHype,” wrote Michael Scotto.

The 36-year-old was recently waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder after a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, who acquired him earlier in the offseason. He reportedly had picked up a $6.5 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

Gay played last season, his 17th in the NBA, for the Utah Jazz. The former first-round pick averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, by far the lowest of his NBA career, while playing a little more than 14 minutes per contest, also a significant career-low number.

Gay averaged about 19 points per game for most of his early career, reaching a high of 21.1 points per game for the Sacramento Kings in the 2014-15 season. His career high of 6.8 rebounds per contest came with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2018-19 campaign.

He would be a veteran depth piece for the Lakers, who are expected to be among the contenders in the Western Conference this season. Gay has relatively little playoff experience, having played just 19 playoff games and never winning a playoff series over his lengthy career.

The Lakers are reportedly looking at multiple options to fill out their roster, with Christian Wood another possible target. There is a lot to consider with the 27-year-old who has bounced around the NBA during his early career, with one NBA source wondering if LeBron James would be able to get Wood to “toe the line.”

Los Angeles has had a very successful offseason so far by re-signing Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes. The Lakers also reportedly may be looking to complete a contract extension for Anthony Davis.

However, the best news of the offseason for the Lakers came when James announced he would be returning to play his 21st NBA season. The 38-year-old will be taking aim at winning his fifth NBA championship, and perhaps having a solid veteran like Gay along for the ride can help him and the Lakers fulfill that goal.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.