We’re just over a month into an off-season that follows a 23-43 season, but if the rumours and reports that have emerged over the last few weeks have any shred of truth to them, this summer could be one of the most interesting and active NBA off-seasons Toronto has seen in a long while.
Heck, the Raptors have been linked to Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin already, and we’re still three-and-a-half weeks away from the Draft, let alone free agency. However, as most already know, trades can take place between two teams as soon as the teams involved have seen their seasons come to an end.
Which is where this latest Raptors-related rumour gets interesting.
“If Gay does become available this summer, there would be no shortage of teams interested in the 25-year-old. The Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic are among the teams who would attempt to trade for Gay, according to sources close to the situation.”
Obviously, we shouldn’t jump the gun and assume the Raptors are in play for Gay based on one “sources close to the situation” report, but having said that, Kennedy is a reputable NBA reporter whose reports deserve attention and monitoring.
Based on the fact that the Raps have seemingly been linked with every potential free agent/trade target in the NBA in May and early June so far, I think it’s safe to assume there will probably be many more reports like these over the next couple of months that involve Toronto. Heck, at this point, NBA inside sources may simply be saying “Raptors” out of the assumption that Bryan Colangelo is going to kick the tires on anything and everything this summer. Who knows?
But I will say this. While an acquisition of Nash has some minor risk because of his age and bidding large on Jeremy Lin has its obvious risks since Lin has yet to prove his staying power, a scenario that lands the Raptors Rudy Gay is awfully hard to find faults with right now from Toronto’s perspective.
We’re talking about an exciting and explosive player who can be a force on both ends of the floor, a player who is only a tier or two below the game’s most elite talents and a player who will still be just 26-years-old when the 2012-2013 season tips off. Yes, he’s owed $53 million over the next three seasons, but part of the benefit of creating maximum cap flexibility, as Bryan Colangelo has done of late, is to put yourself in a position where you can take on big money players without it being crippling to your overall situation.
If, indeed, Gay does become available this off-season, then I would hope the Raptors offer up literally anyone on this roster (not including Jonas Valanciunas) that the Grizzlies are interested in, assuming Memphis would be interested in any package the Raptors can piece together.
And if you don’t quite understand why I worded the title the way I did, then may I present to you arguably the greatest fan reaction in Raptors history: