With the three-team trade that brought Rudy Gay to Toronto now more than 24 hours old, let’s dive into some news and notes following the blockbuster…

Either way, whether it’s Friday or Sunday, the Air Canada Centre is probably going to be a madhouse. I’ve mentioned more than a few times this season that the crowds have been pretty good even against lower tier teams (The ACC was rocking for Saturday’s loss to Kyrie Irving and the Cavs), and even those of us who hate losing Ed Davis still see Rudy Gay as the closest thing to a star this franchise has had in the last three years, so throw him into the lineup on a night where the ACC will probably be sold out anyway (Clippers, Heat), and you have yourself what should be a pretty entertaining atmosphere to watch a basketball game in.

UPDATE: As if the possibility of Rudy Gay making his debut tonight wasn’t enough to get your juices flowing, there’s this…

Well this weekend just got a hell of a lot more interesting. Moving on…

- If you believe in talented players being able to build some momentum with one great game, then Gay’s most recent performance should have you encouraged. After a brutal eight-game stretch that saw him average just 13.1 points on less than 36 per cent shooting (culminating in a 3-of-17 shooting night on Sunday against the Hornets), Gay broke out of the slump with an impressive performance in Philadelphia on Monday where he posted 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and a block. Here’s hoping that’s more like the Rudy Gay that’s on his way to Toronto.

- While I completely understand the excitement many Raptors have over Gay’s potential to bounce back and the subsequent affect that might have on Toronto’s immediate results, I will caution fans not to get too excited when talking about the possibility of sneaking into the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed. The Raptors are currently 6.5 games behind Boston for eighth and I maintain that a 40-42 record will probably be required to make the playoffs in the East. At 16-30 right now, that would mean the Raps probably have to go 24-12 the rest of the way to get in. Even with Gay, that just doesn’t seem possible.

I think the more realistic hope for Raptors fans should be that Gay has an impact this season and just gets the Raptors back into the race (maybe 2-4 games out) and into some more meaningful games later in the season. If Rudy can help the team do that, and if Bryan Colangelo can get creative with his roster management to parlay Andrea Bargnani and possibly even DeMar DeRozan into another significant asset while utilizing the amnesty provision this summer, then there’s no reason for fans to expect anything less than a return to the post-season next year. I’m not saying he’s a prognosticating genius, but Kenny “The Jet” Smith mentioned on TNT Thursday night that he thinks the new-look Raptors could have been a top-four seed in the East if they were together from the beginning of the season and stayed healthy.

- In case you haven’t heard it from at least five different sources already or in case you feel it hasn’t been adequately shoved down your throat yet, I’ll remind you again that Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry are best friends and that Gay is actually the Godfather of Lowry’s son. “Chemistry” for the win!

- One thing the Raptors probably will have to address this season is adding depth at the point guard position. John Lucas III is fine as a team’s third point guard and occasional off-ball guard, but if you’re serious about playing competitive basketball for the last 36 games of the season, I don’t think you can get away with Lucas as your primary backup, especially with Kyle Lowry seemingly cursed by the injury bug again this season.

For what it’s worth, Ben “Mr. Triple-Double” Uzoh is averaging 15.3 points, 5.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in the D-League right now. I’m not saying…I’m just saying.

- If you’re wondering, Ed Davis makes his return to Toronto with the Grizzlies on February 20, while Jose Calderon will make what should be an emotional return to the Air Canada Centre with the Pistons on April 1. Since the Raptors already played in Memphis this season, Rudy Gay won’t make his highly anticipated return to the Music City until next season.

- Last thing to touch on, Dwane Casey has been fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing the officials after Wednesday’s disgraceful missed call at the end of the game cost the Raptors yet another potential win. This is in addition to the NBA failing to publicly recognize their obvious game-changing error, as they actually have done on two separate occasions with the Raptors this season. I guess the Association figures that as long as they don’t admit it, we can only say their refs screwed the Raptors twice this season instead of three times, and as Meatloaf once famously said, two out of three aint bad!

What a joke.

Comments (28)

  1. Colangelo said on the Fan 590 that he talked to Stu Jackson today, and that the League is saying that they didn’t miss the call on the last play of the Atlanta game. That’s right, they’re deeming that play a legit no-call. What a joke.

    Also, does anyone have any insight as to why Gay wouldn’t be playing tomorrow night? I’ve heard a few times he’ll make his debut Sunday — has he not had enough time to be ready for Friday night’s game?

    • A joke indeed.

      As for Rudy Gay’s status for Friday. I believe the issue is that EVERY player in the deal has to pass a physical before any one of the players involved can suit up, and Gay hasn’t even arrived in Toronto yet.

  2. I think adding a guy like Ben Uzoh is the type of low-risk move that should be looked at for PG.

    Also, what do you think the chances are that Colangelo moves DeRozan? I could see Bargnani being moved in a seperate deal, but I think the extension given to DeRozan means he’s staying in Toronto for a while.

    Hate to say it, but I actually think he’ll use Terrence Ross as bait in a package for Bargnani.

    • As much as I’ve warmed up to Demar this year, I wouldn’t mind seeing what we can get for him, if only to shed that future salary hit once his contract extension kicks in. I just think he and Rudy are too similar and as many have pointed out, Ross’ style seems to fit better alongside Gay than Derozan’s does. That said, it’s hard to believe Colangelo will deal Derozan after signing him to that extension — he’s pretty stubborn in sticking with “his guys.” I’m also curious to see how DD and Rudy play together before making any premature judgements.

      • Ya, that’s what I’m thinking. BC is stubborn and DD is one of his “guys”. For that reason, along with a recent extension, I don’t see him being moved any time soon.

        Agree with you though. I think Ross fits better and has a higher ceiling. I’d be ok with DeRozan being traded, but just feel as though Ross could end up being the odd man out.

        • I also agree that Ben Uzoh would be a good backup, if we can’t pick up someone via trade before the deadline.

    • I would LOVE it if BC could trade derozan to utah for millsap.

      • I’ve had Millsap on my mind also

        • me too! – same type of numbers Davis has

          • Millsap-Gay-Val-Lowry-Ross starting, then Amir (playing big minutes), Fields, Andersen coming off the bench. Add a solid 2nd PG, ditch Bargs for whatever, and that’s a decent 9 man rotation. Off the top of my head, Derozan for Millsap might make some kind of sense for Utah, too, since they need to make room for their young big guys (though I guess they have Hayward).

    • Memphis wanted Ross but the Raptors deemed him untouchable, thats why they gave up ed Davis instead. I think BC wants to hold onto Terrence.

      • I posted this below. But I think Ross may have been untouchable simply because he’s part of a future Bargnani deal.

  3. Ross was asked to be in the package with Calderon a few times and BC turned that down. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Nor do i see Demar going anywhere. One of those two guys is going to have to get comfy with playing SG while Colangelo tries to rid of Kleiza and maybe AA for picks. Look for Barney to get moved to a team that needs a big man that can stretch the floor (Clippers, GS, Orlando – Depth scoring off the bench) and if BC needs to include a piece in the trade, look for it to be Hadadi or Acey. Acey and Amir are the same type of player but Amir has proven he can do it (provide energy) every night.

    • Acy is a player they should (I hope they do) keep him. Low price tag for the next few years and he can play value spot minutes (for now)….he will improve over his rookie contract!

    • True, but Colangelo has also said there are deals already in place for Bargnani. So, maybe he was untouchable in the Calderon/Davis deal only because it would ruin a potential Bargnani deal?

  4. I wouldn’t mind them moving DD, but Ross will still get plenty of minutes even if Derozan stays. There’s no reason Casey won’t use Rudy at the 4 the same way he’s used Fields in his small ball lineup, allowing Gay, Derozan, and Ross to be on the floor at the same time. The league is so small right now…

    Hopefully move Bargs, but depending on who they get back the spacing problems may be even worse after that *fingers crossed* trade.

  5. If they can deal Acey with Bargs and get back a legitimate post back up, I think that’s their best option… And like everyone else is theorizing, stick Ross in the small ball 4, with JV protecting the paint at centre… that’s a SICK young core with a fairly high ceiling, the potential for fantastic chemistry, a fairly decent bench at the 2-3 spots… not going to win a championship, but DAMN they’ll be fun to watch!

  6. Ben “Mr. Triple-Double” Uzoh isnt averaging a triple double though is he? Really though from what I seen last year he is pretty good.

  7. I wonder if any team would take Fields contract but hopefully bargs comes back soon so he can be showcased for a solid trade.

  8. The words “high ceiling” is being way over used lately! When arguing about this trade are what a player will be or can be in the future (to me) should be a mild discussion – everyone banks trades and a players worth on whether they have a (high ceiling) and is better then the other’s! There’s more to players then an anticipation of who has a better “high ceiling”….rant over! Still enjoy the discussion, tho!

    Have been reading Memphis feedback and other impartial comments about this trade – seems like they feel Toronto got the best part of this deal. Gay will get more shots here then he did in Memphis – haven’t really heard that point made yet in T.O blogs and or reports.
    Also keep in mind, Memphis and Detroit made their deals for financial reason – Toronto made the deal for a talent upgrade reasons…I like Tor’s position better!

    Are the “fans” over valuing The Boss!??
    I love Davis (and not taking anything away – and not arguing he sucks) BUT, here are some things he doesn’t do well. Shot the ball (although there is showings of improvement), he was a good rebounder not a great rebounder, he wasn’t a shot blocker 0.9 per, he was undersized (but still very young and will get bigger – just not that big right now), was only an average lock down one on one defender (still, I know – time to improve, but will he?)…And the biggest issue moving forward IMO, he can only drive to his left – once defenses clue in on this, he’ll have to adjust (can he?), will he learn to play out of the double team if defenses start concentrating on him…once again, just playing Devils advocate – I think his “good things” out weigh his “bad things”, but those parts of his game must be addressed when deciding on how “high of a ceiling” he has!

  9. Move Bargni and Demar to Lakers for Gasol and Blake….

    solves two things, our PF situation with Davis gone, and our back up point guard situation.

    removes alot of money from the books, and allows T.Ross to grow….

    Front Court of Gasol and Valanciunas….Back court of Gay, Lowry and Fields….

    • and no y woulld we trade 2 young guys for 2 old craps!!!!!
      gasol is done he aint the same and neither is blake
      bad trade

  10. y not make a push for bledsoe!
    the clippers r looking to move him and we definitely need a point guard
    u trade derozan and make lowry ur 2 guard and we would have a legitamite point guard
    lowry is not a great point guard but a good shooter and that would take the pressure off of him

  11. John Lucas was a capable second string PG in Chicago last year. I think he is good enough for the Raptors for the rest of this MEANINGLESS season.

    Look, there is virtually zero chance of making the playoffs so we should just be focusing on seeing how to best fit Gay into the lineup. Spend the rest of the season finding the best combination – yes, trying to work Bargs and DD and Ross and JV in with him and Lowry, and then decide this summer which player isn’t the long term fit, and trade him at the draft. After the first 5 crap picks go off, I’m sure some GM will be thinking Bargs for their 6th or 7th pick is actually not a bad deal.

    You would think Rudy Gay would rather open against the Clippers than against LeBron. But whatever. Perhaps it isn’t up to him, or the guy just wants a paid day off (for more than the rest of us make in a year :)

    • I was also thinking of how well JLIII filled in for D.Rose last year. On the other hand, the Bulls are a great defensive team that really needed the scoring help – Lucas was a perfect fit. This Raptors lineup has become the opposite of those Bulls – Toronto has too many shooters and needs better defensive and a capable distributor.

  12. I would possibly like to take this opportunity to diss the Grizzlies and Jazz for stockpiling all the big men in the NBA. Millsap, Jefferson, Favors, Kanter, Randolph, Gasol, Arthur, and now Davis.

  13. I got a bad feeling that the only way Colangelo can unload Bargnani is by taking back a sack-load of shitty contracts in return. If they’re expiring shitty contracts that’ll be ok. But if they’re expiring, they ain’t really all that shitty, so I’m not holding my breath. As for BC saying on the radio that he has several deals in the works for Bargnani, it is likely bluffing bullshit. If he had serious deals in the works he wouldn’t be going public about it. If he can’t unload him by the deadline perhaps they should bring him off the bench and see if they get some decent production out him as part of the second unit.

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