It looks like the Toronto Raptors have finally decided to start a rebuilding process with the trade of their superstar Rudy Gay.
The former Memphis Grizzlies, who arrived last season on another trade as the Raptors were looking to make a playoff push in the Eastern Conference, was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a seven-player deal. New Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri finally realized that the team is not able to make any noise this year and with a solid draft class coming up next year, he decided to offload contracts and stockpile assets looking to start a rebuilding effort.
The Kings will receive Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy and in return, the Raptors received point guard Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes. Salmons can add experience and some scoring off the bench, Patterson and Hayes are two big guys that can bang down low, while the wild card of the trade is Vasquez.
The Venezuelan point guard is coming off a stellar season last year with the New Orleans Pelicans, but he wasn’t able to produce with the Kings. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good and he will manage the offense next to Kyle Lowry.
Hayes is the only player that has a guaranteed contract towards next year and with Vasquez, Salmons and Patterson all going to free agency after the season, it’s clear that this move was more about clearing cap space to start a rebuilding process with Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as the probable building blocks.
Ujiri is accomplishing the objective of offloading contracts to go back to basics next season. He already took a solid step sending Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks in the offseason, and this recent trade gives the team even more space to start turning around next year.