Free agent forward Rudy Gay has been in the NBA for 17 years, but the former Utah Jazz wing has never played in the second round of the playoffs. Gay, 37, was selected eighth overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2006 NBA Draft out of UConn. The former Huskie was then immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gay played seven seasons (2006-13) with Memphis, one with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14 season), four with the Sacramento Kings (2013-17), four with the San Antonio Spurs (2017-21), and the past two with the Jazz. The 6-foot-8 forward has played for a couple of contenders. However, his teams never made it out of the first round.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Utah Jazz hold 26th-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets.
Rudy Gay been in the league for 17 years and hasn’t won a playoff series yet
— ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴡ (@FeelLikeDrew) August 30, 2023
During the 2010-11 season, the Grizzlies advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, but Gay missed the final 23 regular-season games, and he missed the 2011 NBA Playoffs due to a left shoulder subluxation injury.
In 2012, the Grizzlies then lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. Gay averaged 19 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting playoff series career bests of 42.1% from the floor and 82.5% at the foul line.
Next, the Spurs lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the first round in 2018. The UConn product logged 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Plus, he shot 40% from the field and 55.6% at the line.
Former Utah Jazz wing Rudy Gay has never won a playoff series; Gay is only one out of 177 players in league history to appear in at least 15 seasons and never win a playoff series
Additionally, San Antonio lost in seven games to the Denver Nuggets in the first round in 2019 as well. Gay averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 boards, and 1.7 assists while shooting 40% from the floor, a playoff series career-best 42.1% beyond the arc, and 82.4% at the line.
In the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Jazz lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Gay was a healthy scratch for the entire series. Under then-head coach Quin Snyder, forwards Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale received priority minutes.
Furthermore, Gay exercised his $6.48 million player option with the Jazz for the 2023-24 season in June. This is part of the two-year, $18.55 million contract he signed with Utah in August 2021. On July 7, Utah traded Gay and a 2026 second-round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for John Collins.
— Vlad (@FlashyVlady) August 21, 2023
Five days later, the Hawks traded Gay, Usman Garuba, TyTy Washington Jr., and a 2026 second-round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Patty Mills. The 2026 second-rounder is Memphis owned. OKC waived Gay a few weeks ago.
In 56 games off the bench with the Jazz in the 2022-23 season, Gay averaged career lows of 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 14.6 minutes per game. The NBA veteran shot 38% from the floor and 25.4% beyond the arc, also career-low percentages.
Rudy Gay is only one of five active NBA players drafted in 2006 or earlier, along with LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, and P.J. Tucker. The former Jazz big man will have the opportunity to play with either Paul or James if he signs with the Warriors or Lakers this offseason.