The Toronto Raptors seem likely to make Rudy Gay the future face of their franchise for the next half decade this offseason and it’s a move the team should walk away from while they can.
Making Gay the team’s focal point with a huge contract would be a poor decision for the Raptors, not just because Gay isn’t a franchise player capable of leading the Raptors to the level of contending status that they so badly wish for, but because calling Gay even a good player is a struggle right now.
Yahoo! Sports indicated in an article yesterday that the Toronto Raptors organization is heavily leaning towards making Gay their franchise player- a mysterious decision that many find hard to fathom.
Gay, as a Raptor, has been awful. He has also been below average in a number of vital areas for the majority of his career yet has somehow survived due to an unrealistic perception he will one day reach an All-Star level.
Through 14 contests since January’s trade from Memphis to Toronto, Gay has averaged 20.9 points all the while shooting an incredibly bad 39 percent from the floor and 24 percent from three-point land (attempting four a game). His main deficiencies, detailed here– namely shot selection and selfishness– far outweigh the positives Gay is able to contribute.
Gay has been so bad that Grantland’s Bill Simmons brought up the possibility of Gay moving to the power forward position out of necessity. Statistics back up Simmons’ notion that the vast majority of Gay’s field goal attempts are unassisted jump shots (77 percent), although he manages to convert just 40 percent of those. The only facet of Gay’s scoring game that can be deemed semi-acceptable comes from around the basket where he shoots slightly under 47 percent. It’s entirely possible Gay only experiences a successful career if he operates from the post on a full-time basis, however, finding a team able to convince the seventh-year forward that is a good idea may prove to be impossible.
Should the Toronto Raptors hedge their future on a guy who for the majority of his career, despite playing nearly 40 minutes each night, has failed to significant beat the league’s average PER rating? The bulk of available evidence says no.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.