If there’s one thing that Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo has shown that he isn’t afraid to do, it’s definitely giving out or taking on big contracts. For the most part, a lot of those types of decisions have backfired and not panned out well for Toronto.
For instance, Colangelo signed Andrea Bargnani to a five-year $50 million contract almost four years ago, signed Landry Fields to a three-year $18.75 million contract this summer and signed DeMar DeRozan to a four-year $38 million contract earlier this season. Of those, DeRozan is the only player that has been what the Raptors expected when they signed them, but the argument can still be made that he is grossly overpaid.
However, with their recent acquisition of Rudy Gay and the last two years of his five-year $82 million contract, Colangelo has finally signed someone that’s living up to their big contract.
In his seven games with the Raptors, Gay has averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game. His shooting percentage is low at 38 percent, but the statistics don’t tell the entire story for what Gay is worth to Toronto.
Watching this team with Gay on the floor is like watching a revelation and an entirely new Raptors team. They have an instant chemistry, a palpable energy and noticeable confidence with him on their team. And why not, as he has already hit a few game-winners for Toronto. The Raptors are also 5-2 with Gay on their team.
Everything he brings to this team is something they haven’t had. The Air Canada Centre has more energy, the players have more energy and the team is playing well and looking like they could possibly make a run for a lower-seed in the playoffs. Given the disappointments the Raptors have endured, the $37 million Gay is owed over this year and next year seems like a small price to pay for what he gives them.