The biggest signings of the free agency cycle are behind us, but that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t moves to be made. This week, a new player joined the free agent pool, as journeyman forward Rudy Gay became available after being let go by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"“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.”“Gay was healthy last season minus a finger joint sprain that sidelined him for two weeks and a member of Utah’s rotation through most of last season. Over the last few years of his career, the 17-year veteran has developed into primarily a power forward.”"
Along with the immeasurable amounts of tutelage he can provide to the team’s youngsters (playing in the league for 17 years and five different teams will teach you a thing or two), Gay is still a productive NBA player. Last season, he appeared in 56 games for the Utah Jazz, averaging 5.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 1.0 APG in 14.6 minutes of action per contest.
With that said, from an on-court perspective, signing Gay doesn’t really address any of the Pelicans’ major areas of weakness. He’s not much of a shooter (last season, he shot 25.4% from three), not much of a rim pressure guy (he was in the 14th percentile in rim frequency for his position, per Cleaning the Glass), and he doesn’t provide any real rim protection.
Still, he’d likely only require the veteran minimum (to learn more about how those work, check out this post). So, maybe it is worth it to bring him in simply for leadership purposes. After all, the team does need someone to fill the void left by Garrett Temple’s departure.
So far, the only major signing the Pelicans have made this off-season was their acquisition of big man Cody Zeller, who they also signed for the veteran minimum.