Following Defeat Against Victor Wembanyama and Co, Warriors’ Abrupt Trade Leaves NBA World Astounded

Published 10/21/2023, 11:19 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Golden State Warriors concluded their NBA preseason on Friday. They went head-to-head with Victor Wembanyama and Co. in their final preseason matchup. After maintaining an undefeated preseason record, the Dubs closed out their preseason with their lone loss, 122-117, to the San Antonio Spurs.

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Despite the loss, what left fans shellshocked was the Warriors’ shocking announcement right after the game. The Warriors released two veteran players and will head to the 2023-24 NBA season opener against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday with just 13 players under contract.

Warriors waive Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder

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The Warriors brought in Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder this offseason to add more veteran presence to the team. The 17-year NBA veteran suited up for 2 preseason games and logged in 6 and 8 minutes, respectively, in both of the Dubs’ preseason wins over the Los Angeles Lakers. He tallied 4 points in the preseason opener on October 7th with four rebounds and went scoreless in the second game with three rebounds.

On the other hand, McGruder, who was sidelined most of the preseason due to a concussion, logged in 20 minutes in the Warriors’ loss to the Spurs on Friday. He scored 8 points and 5 rebounds in the team’s lone loss.

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Shortly after the loss, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors were waiving veteran forward Rudy Gay and guard Rodney McGruder, trimming their roster down to 13 players.

As per the CBA, the teams are obligated to carry at least 14 (max 15) players throughout the season. The numbers can dip to 13 for not more than 2 weeks, twice a year. For now, the Warriors will enter the regular season with 13 players on the roster. Although the move allows more financial flexibility by helping them save on the luxury tax bill, the abrupt announcement drew mixed reactions from NBA fans.

NBA fans go wild after the sudden cutoff

With both Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder entering free agency, NBA fans flooded social media with assumptions about potential future teams.

A fan asks for him to be brought to the Lakers!!

Another fan hails Rudy’s confirmed return to the Bulls.

And yet another fan is happy McGruder is coming back to Detroit!

One fan pointed out that they could still technically re-sign either Gay or McGruder as the 14th player on the roster.

After talks about the Warriors’ signing future Hall of Famer, Dwight Howard died down in the offseason, they are once again resurfacing after the sudden cut-off.

One fan expressed their dissatisfaction with the Warriors parting ways with the 37-year-old guard.

Some fans questioned the hasty move.

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What do you think of the Warriors releasing Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder? Who do you think will earn the 14th spot on the roster? Let us know in the comments.

Watch this story: Will Stephen Curry Give 7’5 Victor Wembanyama a Taste of Warriors-Spurs Rivalry Tonight?

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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