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Spurs’ Rudy Gay is already putting in work ahead of his free agency

Spurs, Rudy Gay

San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay isn’t viewing the offseason as a vacation, as some NBA players do. Rather than lounging about on a beach somewhere, Gay has been hitting the gym to improve the strength and conditioning aspects of his game:

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Dropped weight and ready to win already

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Gay, now 32 years of age, will be up for free agency this offseason. He signed a one-year, $10.1 million deal with the Spurs last season. At this point, it’s not clear if he’ll be re-signed. If it were up to head coach Gregg Popovich, though, Gay would remain with the team:

“Sure … We are hoping we can figure out a way to keep him here,” Popovich told Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News earlier this month.

“Rudy is a scorer,” Popovich added. “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.”

Gay enjoyed a solid 2018-19 campaign. In his 69 games played (51 starts), the former UConn Husky racked up averages of 13.7 points on 50.4 percent shooting from the field (40.2 percent from beyond the arc), 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and just under one steal (0.8) in 26.7 minutes per outing.

In January 2017, Gay suffered a full tear of his left Achilles in a loss to the Indiana Pacers. After a successful surgery, the former eighth overall pick (2006) was forced to miss the remainder of that season. Rather than drowning in his own sorrows, Gay decided that he was going to make a recovery:

“A lot of people didn’t think I would make it back or be where I am now,” Gay told the San Antonio Express-News. “I am a kid from Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve been counted out my whole life. The injury doesn’t mean anything to me — it never will.”

Let’s see what next season has in store for Rudy.