Many people quickly forget that Toronto Raptors second-year win Terrence Ross was a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, selected eighth overall. A big part of why Ross is often overlooked is the way that the Raptors’ roster changed and the season played out over the course of his rookie year.
Ross was getting solid minutes last season, but then the Rudy Gay trade happened and Ross started grabbing the pine more often than not. However, as the Raptors are trying to get going in the 2013-14 NBA season, they have started to get Ross a little more involved in their rotation.
While Ross is averaging just 18.5 minutes per game of playing time for the entire season, he’s averaged 28.5 minutes per game. The most impressive part about Ross earning minutes and finally getting a little more burn, though, is the fact that he’s been productive with his playing time. In the last two games where he’s seen the floor often, the second-year Ross has averaged 14 points, five rebounds and 1.5 assists per game on 11-18 shooting from the floor and 4-8 shooting from distance.
One of the reasons Ross’ value hasn’t been high is that he’s somewhat of a poor-man’s Rudy Gay at this point in his career where he’s not a fantastic jump shooter, but has elite length and athleticism at the position and can do some nice things when attacking the rim. What works in Ross’ favor in this regard, though, is the fact that Ross has shown much better shot-selection than Gay in recent weeks and all almost all of last year. Ross doesn’t settle for ill-advised mid-range jumpers nearly as often as Gay does.
With what Gay is making this year in terms of salary, the Raptors aren’t going to be giving Ross that starting job any time soon. However, if Toronto and Masai Ujiri are able to make a trade that sends Gay out of town, it’d be incredibly interesting to see how the Raps would manage his minutes and help along his development. All in all, though, I believe that Ross could be a fun name to watch over the next few seasons.