Toronto Raptors Playing Better Since Rudy Gay Trade

By Craig Ballard
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets in their final Sunday afternoon game of another disappointing season, but there is good news as the team is now 15-16 when Rudy Gay plays.

For most franchises getting 15 wins in 31 games is hardly an accomplishment, but for this woeful organization (I am looking at you Bryan Colangelo) that is actually a step in the right direction when you consider that is the pace of a 40-42 team which would be good enough to qualify for the playoffs (last time Canadians saw their NBA team in the playoffs Americans had George W. Bush as their President). Prior to the Gay trade, the Raps were 17-32 which projects to 28-54 full season.

In his 31 games in the T-dot, Gay leads the team in points, steals, and defensive rebounds. He averages seven makes on 16 shots each game, but at the Air Canada Centre he is getting over 20 points per game and over two steals. Impressive stuff, although it is worth noting that he only makes three out of every 10 long range shots he takes. Going forward look for him and Jonas Valanciunas to develop a chemistry together where Gay attacks the paint for his own shot or a dump off for a JV or Amir Johnson dunk.

There have been several games where Gay has led the Raps in scoring, and eight times he has led the entire game in points, but these are the sort of things that have to be expected from 26 year old 6’8″ forward as he is paid mega dollars to produce mega numbers.

Over the next two seasons, Gay will amass another $37 million from his current deal. The Raps are toying with .500 since his arrival so I would anticipate that familiarity going forward will only improve the team with Gay as their top dog. Many Raps fans did not like the Gay trade, but I did not feel like the team gave up too much to take a chance on Gay and I understood Colangelo’s desire to swing for the fences as his once mighty reputation has taken a massive hit during his time in Toronto. I have to assume that the clock is ticking on BC’s tenure, but Gay will be the headliner of this team going forward regardless of who the management team is. That perhaps excites me more than some Raps fans, but I am almost desperate to find positives about another losing season, plus I like Gay and I like what he can do on this particular roster.

Craig Ballard is a NFL/NBA/MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @craigballard77, and you can find all of his articles HERE

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