Toronto Raptors: Rudy Gay Trade Paying Off Early

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Rudy Gay trade is paying off early for the Toronto Raptors after just four games played with the franchise.

Gay set a team record for the most points scored in the first three games played with the Raptors with 74 points. In his fourth game, he exploded late in the contest and delivered the overtime game winner against the Indiana Pacers.

It’s only four games, but the 6-foot-8 small forward is averaging 24.3 points, six rebounds, 3.3 steals, two assists and one block. The exact type of numbers Toronto was hoping to get from the talented swingman.

Not only has Gay put up impressive numbers but his arrival to the team has lifted the confidence level throughout the roster.

No one has benefited more from Gay’s arrival than DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging 20.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds since the trade. DeRozan was the biggest concern for any opposition’s defense but now that the focus is no longer solely on him, he has looked more relaxed and comfortable while attacking the rim more than ever. He is averaging 7.3 free throw attempts with Gay in the line-up.

The swingman duo of Gay and DeRozan have appeared to develop instant chemistry, which is getting Raptor fans excited about what could be coming in the future.

DeRozan isn’t the only one to be benefiting from Gay, as Amir Johnson has raised his game to a level never seen before by the 25-year-old. In the past four games, Johnson is averaging 12.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, two steals and 1.5 blocks. He’s gone from the bench player with a bad contract, to the biggest fan favorite on the roster with the departure of Jose Calderon.

It’s a small sample size, but if these are a sign of things to come in Raptor land, then those in Toronto have reasons to be excited.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the NBA and NHL for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts

 

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