Raptors Sure Look Better Without Gay!

Okay, need to move on from the Rudy Gay trade.   But the other thing I am thinking about right now is the Detroit Lions collapse (yes, I have been a Lions fan all my life).  And I don’t want to talk about that right now!

So let’s talk Rudy Gay. The Raptors – with their win over the Thunder tonight – are 5-2 since Gay departed.  With this record in mind, let’s review again how ESPN.com reported this trade.  Here is part of that article:

Sacramento has been very aggressive under new owner Vivek Ranadive, who has cleared additional spending to attempt to upgrade the roster. Gay, who was traded last January by the Memphis Grizzlies in a similar money dump, is one of the highest-paid players in the league.

“Rudy is a prince of a guy,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s an athletic, dynamic wing player. Gets to the basket at will. Can shoot the ball. Handle the ball. We were using him more in a drive situation, pick-and-roll situation. He was growing into that roll, doing a better job because he can see over the defense.

“That was a different role for him to do that, but he was warming to it. And doing a good job with it, bringing the ball down the floor and breaking pressure.”

The trade for Gay was one of the last acts of former Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who resigned last summer. New general manager Masai Ujiri has been attempting to offload long-term contracts, and this move accomplishes that. Combined with the trade of Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks during the offseason, the Raptors will have cleared more than $20 million off their books for next season.

Just to review:

  • The Kings acquisition of Gay was an “aggressive move”.
  • The Raptors made this move to shed salary

Some of the comments on my post on this move a few days ago seemed to indicate that everyone knows Gay isn’t that good (or at least, the population of people who think otherwise is small).  The population in this ESPN.com article, though, clearly seems to think Gay is quite good (after all, he is paid $17 million to play basketball!).  Furthermore, while his departure might help the Raptors do better financially, it wasn’t considered a great basketball move.  The early returns suggest otherwise.  And I expect this trend to continue.

In sum, the Raptors are better on the floor without Gay.  That is what you would say if you looked at the data.  And the fact ESPN.com (and others) emphasized the salary issues suggest that someone at ESPN.com – as well as the coach of the Raptors (Dwane Casey) – are not looking at the data.

- DJ

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