The Rudy Gay trade is now official, so if you want one last look at Ed Davis in a Raptor uniform, there you go….
Start time: 7:30 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Ed Davis Amir Johnson, Aaron Gray
Atlanta: Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas are out, Kyle Lowry is expected to play after missing 1 game with back spasms.
Atlanta: Zaza Pachulia is doubtful with an Achilles injury. Anthony Morrow will play.
Trigger-happy GM Bryan Colangelo has pulled the trigger on another deal! The Raptors will land Rudy Gay, his contract of roughly $18M per season (in which the 2014-15 season is a player option) and reserve big man Hamed Haddadi. Toronto gives up Ed Davis and Jose Calderon in return.
From the Raptor’s perspective, they land an all-star calibre small forward who brings more stability to that position than anyone since Tracy McGrady. The problem with Gay is that his stats have plateaued ever since his second season in the league (2007-08). He often seems dis-interested and most pundits agree that he is yet to reach his potential. Well at age 26, it’s definitely not too late to get there. Let’s start by considering this little tidbit…
Lowry won’t say much other than Gay is his best friend. Became friends when Lowry was a HS sophomore
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) January 30, 2013
Kyle Lowry has no problem being vocal with his teammates and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Gay and Lowry play at an all-star level now that they’re re-united.
Rudy is going through his first real trade (he was dealt on draft night from Houston to Memphis) and that often sparks a player who hasn’t reached his ceiling. He was somewhat buried on the Grizzlies, a team that likes to play inside-out. He will be given more pick and roll opportunities in Toronto , which will suit him perfectly. Gay can handle, shoot and finish at the rim. He became a spot-up shooter in Memphis for long stretches – not his game.
Jose Calderon had to go.
I appreciate what Jose did for this city and the effort that he gave on the floor, but it was time to part ways. Bryan Colangelo had tried to replace him 3 times and each time, Jose managed to find his way back into the starting spot. The problem is Jose just isn’t talented enough to get Toronto where they need to be – which is why Colangelo kept trying to upgrade. The Raptors have now found an elite talent at point in Kyle Lowry, and it’s time to hand over the reins. Finding competition for John Lucas at backup point guard, will now be a priority for BC.
Obviously when you acquire a young, all-star talent, you have to give up something of great value – Ed Davis. In just two and half seasons of quietly efficient play in the pros, Davis had become a darling of the advanced stats community. His per 36 minutes stats (14.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 bpg) this season were fantastic. His rebound rates (16%+ every year) put him just below the elite rebounding power forwards in the NBA. His current trajectory had all-star written all over it, given his reported work ethic – which turned a non-existent jump shot into something quite useful, in just one off-season.
The only way I see this trade haunting Toronto, is if Lowry and Gay decide to pack their bags after the 2013-14 season and head somewhere else. But Gay has a tasty $19M player option on the table for the following season and I would surprised if Colangelo didn’t try to negotiate a contract extension with Lowry this off-season.
At the end of the day, a lineup of Lowry, DD/Ross, Gay, Amir and JV is more appealing than one of Lowry, DD/Ross, Fields, Davis & JV.