Landing Rudy Gay at the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline was an enormous move for the Toronto Raptors. Not only were they getting a player that could potentially help them build a playoff team, but they were also taking on a hefty amount of salary left on Gay’s contract. As of now, the new general manager Masai Ujiri has to be questioning the former front office’s decision.
When he first arrived in Toronto, Gay really sparked this team and had many Raptors fans and NBA pundits thinking that they could have been a dark-horse playoff team. As the dust settled and the excitement mellowed, though, it became clear that Gay wasn’t the player that was going to lead the Raps to the postseason.
Gay played in 33 games for Toronto, averaging 19.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks in 34.7 minutes per game. If it were just those numbers alone, that would be impressive. However, Gay shot just 42.5 percent from the field and converted on just 33.6 percent of his threes, despite taking four per game.
Considering the perception of Gay as an impact player, he was incredibly average offensively last season. In his time with the Raptors he ranked just 245th in the NBA in terms of points per possession, averaging just 0.89 points per. Many defenders of Gay dismissed his problems on offense and talked of his impact on defense, though. However, he wasn’t as good on that end of the floor as people might think.
Gay was slightly above average defensively last season, allowing 0.85 points per possession, the 149th best mark in the league. He was solid in defending isolation plays run at him, which isn’t surprising considering his athleticism and length, but was average in most other sets.
If by some miracle Gay comes out in the 2013-2014 season and starts attacking the rim almost exclusively instead of pulling up for dumb jump shots, then this Raptors team could surprise some people, especially with the potential of Jonas Valanciunas. However, if Toronto relies on Gay as heavily as they did last season and he continues to make the same decisions, the results will not be pleasing.