UPDATE 07/06/2017: The Spurs officially announced the signing of Gay at 7:48 PM CST.
The San Antonio Spurs have landed veteran forward Rudy Gay in free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. Gay will sign a two-year deal with the Spurs for $17 million, as the deal will include a player option in the second year.
At 6’8″, Gay has the versatility to play either the 3 or play the 4 next to Kawhi Leonard (3) and LaMarcus Aldridge (5).
Financially, this indicates the Spurs will be operating over the cap to sign Gay to the mid-level exception worth $8.4 million. This allows San Antonio to keep the cap hold of Patty Mills, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and the cap hold of Jonathon Simmons on the books. There’s still a very strong chance that the Spurs will match an outside offer for Simmons, but because he’s under the Arenas provision, the third and fourth years of a potential deal could make San Antonio hesitant to match.
Operating over the cap and providing Gay with the MLE could mean the Spurs could only offer Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol certain salary amounts to prevent them from reaching the hard cap limit of $125 million. This also means if Adam Hanga decided to make the jump to the NBA, he’d have to sign for the veteran minimum.
The Spurs could also be operating with cap room. This would mean they’d still sign Gay for the $8.4 million in year one, but they’d have to renounce the cap holds of both Ginobili and Gasol. Then they’d only have close to $5.8 million in room to offer Gasol or the room exception of $4.3 million.
If Gasol re-signs, it’ll indicate more precisely how the Spurs are operating.
Last season in Sacramento, Gay averaged 18.7 points (46/37/86% shooting splits), 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 30 games, which he mostly missed due to injury.
Gay has spent 11 seasons in the NBA.