San Antonio Spurs guard Rudy Gay expects the team to continue to exceed expectations in the upcoming 2018/19 season.
After their exit in the first round of the playoffs vs Golden State Warriors, SA Spurs star play Kawhi Leonard wanted to leave the team, with the main reason being the mishandled situation regarding his injury earlier that year.
There were numerous reports about him wanting to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, however, it was the Toronto Raptors who were able to make a trade for Kawhi. They traded their best player in DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected first-round pick in 2019.
For Rudy Gay, who re-signed with the Spurs this summer, there is no question that the Spurs will be competitive this year as well. He believes they have much better chances of advancing far into the postseason especially now that they have someone like DeMar to take on much of the offensive burden.
“Why were we expected to be so much better last year? Because Kawhi may have come back? He didn’t, and we were still a playoff team, really a couple of wins away from being a third or fourth seed in the West,” Gay said, according to NBA.com. “They don’t have many expectations for us. But the Spurs always exceed expectations. Don’t expect anything less this year.”
It was reported, DeMar was traded to the Spurs against his will in a deal that shocked the basketball world since everyone believed Kawhi would be going to LA Lakers. DeMar promised the Spurs that they got a player who can help them chase another championship in the upcoming seasons.
“A guy that’s been proven to prove himself time and time again,” DeRozan said last month. “This time around had the biggest chip on his shoulder ever. When they carry that over and play for a championship — period.”
However, Gay says DeRozan is not the only Spurs player to have a chip on his shoulder, but the entire team as well, as he looks forward to seeing how the team meshes with each other.
“That’s the thing about this whole team – everybody has a chip on his shoulder,” Gay explained. “His [DeRozan] is just more publicized. But, look, I’m healthy (and have something to prove), LaMarcus (Aldridge) always finds some way to have a chip on his shoulder. Jakob wants to prove he can be a great player. DJ (Dejounte Murray) has a chip on his shoulder because he wants to be known as one of the best at his position.”
“But I think we have a great mix of guys, a great basketball team. (Spurs GM) R.C. (Buford) put together a great team. It will be fun to watch,” he added.