ESPN recently looked at the small forwards of the NBA and asked who the best, most underrated, most overrated and most promising small forward in the league are. Rudy Gay’s name came up, but not in a good way.
Raptors Republic’s very own J.M. Poulard was one of five NBA writers (although under the Warriors World banner) who contributed. There were only two unanimous categories: Best small forward (guess which one) and most overrated. This is what they had to say:
Who’s the most overrated small forward in the NBA?
Cavan: Rudy Gay. Few players personify the stats-eye test divide better than the supremely talented — and supremely flawed — Raptors wing. Where proponents point to Gay’s bucket-harvesting prowess and smooth flow, detractors, well, point to the numbers. The good news: after corrective surgery, Gay should actually be able to, like, see the basket. Which is important when you’re shooting a basketball.
Haberstroh: I’ll go with Rudy Gay, one of the last remaining idols of Points Per Game worshipers. Gay has all the tools to be an All-Star and he’s paid like one — did you know he’ll make more than Durant this season? — but his only above-average skill is shot-taking. Though he may be more overpaid than overrated, he’s not the franchise player that many believe he is.
Poulard: Rudy Gay. He will make roughly $17.9 million in 2013-14 and yet does not possess a single elite skill. He can create good shots but one expects a better conversion rate from the Toronto Raptor. His salary technically puts him close to the same level as Carmelo Anthony. But his production? Not so much.
Wade: Rudy Gay. Critics spurned the Memphis Grizzlies for punting on the season last year when they traded away their ballyhooed wing in favor of fiscal prudence. Then the team advanced further than it ever had in franchise history. Despite getting swept by the Spurs, this is damning evidence that Gay was merely an ancillary ingredient in the team’s success.
Young: Rudy Gay. In today’s NBA, small forward has become a position of production, and not just in raw scoring stats, but efficient, well-rounded production. Gay can score, but it’s in a volume manner. He’s a good player, no doubt, but is there one thing he’s really great at?
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