When the Toronto Raptors traded for Rudy Gay last year, some saw it as a bold and smart move for a franchise that needs a star. Others saw it as the last desperate gasp of Bryan Colangelo.
What we know is it wasn’t Masai Ujiri ‘s move, and he is the current general manager of the Raptors.
In a fantastic story on Ujiri in the National Post that looks at where he came from and how that and his basketball background influence where he might take the Raptors (you should read the entire thing), comes the tidbit Ujiri may move Gay
Sources say he has talked about moving Rudy Gay, but he has been patient. He dealt Andrea Bargnani, built a bench that may double as a self-destruct button, and prepared.
Gay will make $17.8 million this season and has a player option for next season ($19.3 million) — at age 27 he is expected to opt out, become a free agent and seek the security of a longer deal. The Raptors can offer five years, other teams four.
It’s unlikely the Raptors will offer anything near that high, and if Ujiri doesn’t want him or if he doesn’t think he can keep him, he may have to pull the trigger.
The other part of that equation is how the Raptors fair to start the season — the dynamic is different if they are in a playoff position or close to one than it does if the team is out of it and it’s time to go for lottery Ping-Pong balls.
How you feel about Gay likely says a lot about how you feel about the advanced stats movement in basketball. He is kind of the fault line. Gay’s fans will talk about the athletic guy who can create his own shot, make plays for others and has a career 18 points a game average. His detractors don’t think he’s terrible, they think he’s above average but a volume scorer — he’s averaged 15.3 shots a game to get those 18 points — who is not efficient.
Ujiri isn’t from the Daryl Morey school, but he does listen to his stats guys and he isn’t afraid to trade big names.
I have a feeling either Gay or DeMar DeRozan will get moved this season, just something for you to keep an eye on.