The Toronto Raptors traded away Rudy Gay early in December and many people expected that they might be trying to tank the 2013-14 NBA season in the interest of building through the draft for their future. However, the Gay trade might’ve been just the boost that they needed to become a solid playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
Since trading away Gay, the Raptors have won 13 of their 19 games, including a 94-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. In that win over the Wolves, second-year wing Terrence Ross was big contributing factor as he put up 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals while shooting a solid 6-14 from the floor.
One of the things that the Gay trade allowed to happen was to allow Ross more playing time. When the Raps acquired Gay last season, one of the reasons that I didn’t really like the move for Toronto was that it buried Ross, then a rookie, in their rotation. With Gay now out of the picture, Ross now is seeing the floor more, is getting the chance to develop, and is shining in the opportunity.
Since the Gay trade, Ross has played 30.4 minutes per game while averaging a solid 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and one steal per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the floor and an impressive 43.4 percent from beyond-the-arc.
The opportunity has already proven beneficial for Ross this season. He’s obviously immensely talented, but getting consistent minutes as a starter has allowed him to gain experience, hone his skills and gain confidence as an NBA player. Though Toronto might no longer be looking at a lottery pick, the way that the Gay trade has helped this team is personified in Ross.