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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he’s ‘hoping we can figure out a way’ to keep Rudy Gay

Spurs, Rudy Gay, Gregg Popovich

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich wants the franchise to re-sign small forward Rudy Gay.

Gay becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“We are hoping we can figure out a way to keep him here,” Popovich said, via Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “Rudy is a scorer. He’s somebody who changes games. And he’s gotten better rebounding-wise and defensively, which was never his forte. But he understands the importance of it and is just getting better every year.

“He’s a very outgoing individual. He’s an easy teammate to be with, so he makes people feel comfortable. For young guys just starting out like Lonnie, it’s important to see the vets and be able to sit down and have a meal with them and laugh. (Gay) does that well.”

Gay averaged 13.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this season for the Spurs. The swingman shot 50.4 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from beyond the arc and 81.6 percent from the free-throw line.

The Spurs lost to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs in seven games. Gay put up 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the series.

Gay has a close relationship with shooting guard DeMar DeRozan. The veteran made $10,087,200 in 2018-19 and will probably make a similar salary next season.