Bye bye, Rudy Gay; don't let the door hit you on the way out

The Toronto Raptors traded Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

The deal sends Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to Sacramento for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes and John Salmons.

You can check out the initial reaction here, Zarar’s emergency podcast here and Tim Chisholm’s take here.

Of course, we’ve all got opinions, so the Raptors Republic crew assembled to give out quick(-ish) takes on the deal. Enjoy, and share your own in the comments.

Andrew Thompson
Dear Rudy,

This is awkward. First, I just want to say, you’re a great guy, and I care
about you a lot. But… Look, we both knew this was coming, right? It just
isn’t working. And this is the hardest part to say, but it’s not me; it’s
you. I thought that you could be something more. I saw the potential in
you and wanted so badly for you to be that stretch 4 who creates for
others instead of shooting through double teams. I tried, I really tried.
But you wouldn’t stop dribbling at waist height through traffic, you
wouldn’t stop launching bad long distance twos and you refused to use your
length and athleticism with any kind of consistency on defense or in
transition. I wanted so badly to believe that it was because you’ve been
inexplicably playing without contacts or goggles with diminishing eye
sight for the last few years. I mean, it was one of the most infuriatingly
stupid things I’ve ever heard, but I thought “it’s ok, maybe that means
that LASIK eye surgery can turn this all around.” That was stupid of me.
This is just who you are. It’s my fault for thinking I could change you. I
know that now. So I have to move on. Please don’t be mad, and don’t be
jealous of Greivis Vasquez or Patrick Peterson. I’m not doing this for
them. They aren’t my future. They’re simply the best I can get right now.
That’s what I have to accept, not what I want to accept. Because everyone
else knows exactly who you are too.And Salmons and Hayes, that’s just a
money thing (it’s complicated). This is about me needing to move on from
you. I need someone younger. I need someone who is more low maintenance,
contract wise. If you hear rumors about the terrible, scandalous things
I’m doing out on the court this year, please don’t think of me as a loser.
It’s just a phase I need to go through right now in order to find myself
(a lottery pick). I wish you the best Rudy. I hope you find someone who
loves and accepts you for who you are. God knows, if there is anywhere you
hilariously belong, it’s Sacramento. Good luck.

P.S. Please return my CDs and that book I lent you. I’ll get a friend to
pick them up. Thanks.

Blake Murphy
Masai Ujiri accomplished Step Two, perhaps Step 1B, on Sunday in dealing Rudy Gay to the Kings. Make what you will of the players coming back – more on this tomorrow, though none figure into long-term plans in a meaningful way – but this deal is far more about flexibility and development.

Gay’s absence creates further opportunities for the players left on the roster, specifically Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross. The offense should become more fluid and balanced, with the only potential detriment coming if DeMar DeRozan is unable to navigate increased defensive attention. Still, there are more shots and more touches available now, and that’s not insignificant for a young, rebuilding squad.

Even then, you could scrap that and call the deal a victory. I’ve been one of the only people who thought there was a possibility that Gay opted out of the final year of his deal, but the Raptors were right to absolve themselves of that risk when they could. With his value in the tank, perhaps it’s 75/25 Gay exercises the option – that means there was a 75 percent chance the Raptors would be on the hook for $19.3 million next year rather than the now-100 percent chance they’re on the hook for $7 million (Chuck Hayes at $6 million and John Salmons’ $1 million buyout). Those are big savings, and they’re savings that could help Ujiri reshape the roster.

Flexibility and cap space are transactional currencies that extend beyond attracting big-name free agents to Toronto. The Utah Jazz, for example, acquired a pair of first round picks from Golden State just to take on some bad salary (and keep your eyes on future picks – with the team unlikely to acquire another 2014 lottery pick, future firsts may be the currency of choice for Ujiri to lay the foundation for the franchise).

Whether this makes the team better or worse, this year or next, is irrelevant. Ideally, yes, the team gets worse and improves their lottery odds, but that’s just as likely to come from further moves as it is from removing Gay. More moves are almost surely on the way, and they’ll probably give the team a worse on-floor outlook.

As I’m sure everyone else will echo, Gay and Bargnani were the cracked pillars upon which this aimless franchise stood. They have been removed, which provides the opportunity to build a more stable foundation. But that building is going to take time, and it’s definitely going to take patience, and it’s not a sure thing.

It might be a long process, but based on early returns, the right man is at the helm.

Garrett Hinchey
I feel like most of my thoughts on the trade can be accurately summed up with this image, but I’ve been asked to elaborate, so here goes:

Plenty of my colleagues are stat guys, and I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you and I how this trade will impact the Raps on the court. For me, though, this move is all about the big picture. For the entire offseason (save the equally incredible Bargnani move) and the first couple months of the regular season, the Raptors as a franchise were stuck in a malaise. They were directionless, depressing to watch, and it seemed like everyone – players, coaches, fans – were waiting for the first domino to fall, and doing their best to endure until it did.

Well, endure no longer. The domino has fallen, and we’re finally off on the rebuild. For most fans, save the most delusional, this is a huge sigh of relief – an acknowledgement by management that the team built by the previous regime wasn’t going anywhere, and a step towards one that, hopefully, is.

Up until this point in the season, we kept telling ourselves that the Raptors could move in any direction – we could try and pick up another piece or two and work towards a playoff spot, or we could move all our assets and bottom out. With Rudy Gay’s albatross contract off the books, though, and replaced with solid – and tradeable – assets, that statement is actually true for the first time this season. In the short term, we’re better simply by subtraction (not to mention having two reliable point guards, and a couple more scorers on the bench). In the long term, we have real monetary flexibility for the first time in years. In one fell swoop, Masai Ujiri has taken a train that was flat on its sides and put it back on the tracks. We’re moving again. And that’s so, so much more exciting than whatever it was we were doing before.

No, we don’t have an All-Star. No, we might not be bad enough (right now) to join the race for top draft picks this season. But Brian Colangelo’s footprint on this team has been minimalized by December, and that’s cause for celebration.

In Masai we trust. Let’s see which domino falls next.

Sam Holako
This is clearly the 1st in a series of move, and I say Goddamn!, Ujiri is nothing if not a boss. I hated the trade the moment I heard about it (I’m an ardent Gay apologist; so short of landing a top-5 1st rounder, I wasn’t going to like anything), but the more I percolate on it, the more it becomes obvious that Ujiri is the best GM in the game.

Tim is right; this trade actually improves this team, but not because of the incoming talent, but because of their fit. However, you have to give Ujiri the benefit of the doubt, and assume that the guy who’s traded Bargnani and Gay for a first rounder, two second rounder’s, Steve Novak, Grevious Vasquez, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and the cost-effective corpses of Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, and John Salmons, has more tricks up his sleeves; heaven help the rest of the league, for reals!

Don’t be surprised to see trades for Amir, DeRozan, and Lowry; expect nothing short of immediate cap relief, serviceable players on friendly contracts, and pics in return. This is what having world class leadership/stewardship is about. It took a few minutes to realize, but… tears of happiness, man.

Tim W.
Let’s be clear, I’m thrilled I no longer have to watch Rudy Gay on a semi-nightly basis. While I’m happy Gay is gone, and I don’t think was a bad deal in the least, I’m not as over-the-moon about the trade as some are (cough**Zarar**cough).

Before you start throwing the pessimist tag at me once again, let me explain.

First of all, no one the Raptors are getting back are all that good. Greivis Vasquez is an average player, at best, and he’s the best player of the bunch by far. If Raptor fans hated Calderon’s defense, wait until they see Vasquez’s. But Vasquez isn’t as good offensively as Calderon. And he turns 28 in January, so he’s as good as he’s going to get.

There are some calling Patterson a prospect, but I think that’s being generous. He’s a poor rebounder who really doesn’t do anything well other than hit the mid-range jump shot.

Both Salmons and Hayes are useless players who were only included because the Raptors needed to take back salary.

What the Raptors failed to get back was a draft pick or a decent prospect, and that’s the main reason I’m not ecstatic about the deal. While it’s doubtful Gay alone would have gotten that much value back, packaging him with another decent asset (sorry Aaron and Quincy) might have maximized his value.

Of course, Ujiri didn’t get great value for Gay because he traded him when his value was at his lowest, and that’s something that has happened too often in Raptors history. It turns out the deal Joe Dumars apparently offered him, back in the summer, would have been better value because Stuckey has played so well this year and would have at least been a better trade asset than anyone they got from Sacramento.

It’s true the Raptors will have lots of cap room this summer, but to what end? The majority of teams in the league will have some form of cap room and who would the Raptors be able to sign?

Holding onto Gay longer might have increased his value, especially after December 15th when free agents signed over the summer are available to trade.

The team looked MUCH better without Gay (against the Lakers), but they’re still not very good and the consensus now seems to be that the Raptors are selling in preparation for the 2014 draft, so why make the trade now?

There are only two reasons I can think of. The first is that the market for Gay was so bad that he took the only offer he could get. The other, and the one I hope is the reason, is that Ujiri can still repackage the incoming players before the February 20th trade deadline (players can’t be repackaged in trades for two months after they are initially traded).

If I were to grade this deal for the Raptors, I’d give them a C+, but I’m definitely anxious to see what else is coming.

William Lou
Last year, when Bryan Colangelo made a naked and desperate attempt to save his job by trading for Rudy Gay, I had a tantrum of sorts. I paced back and forth in my house, cursing and ranting, much to the dismay of my bewildered roommates. I was angry at Colangelo for trading away a promising big-man and an all-time favorite, but more than anything, I was pissed that Colangelo saddled us with Rudy Gay, a man so maligned for his high-volume/low-efficiency production that he rivaled the likes of Monta Ellis and Dion Waiters. I was so upset that I boldly declared to the twittersphere:

And of course, after a month-long hiatus, I came crawling back for I loved the Raptors too much and myself too little. I still hissed at the television set whenever Gay shot the ball, but for the most part, I hoped for the best. Some part of me clung to the idea that with the right coaching and direction, this team of misfit toys could bring us a winning record come Christmas for once, which of course did not happen in large part because Gay was shooting more and worse than ever.

When you strip away all the bells and whistles, basketball, like many other sports, is a competition of which team can translate their possessions into more points. Throughout his career, despite being gifted with size, athleticism, awareness and ability, Rudy Gay has consistently turned a whole bunch of possessions into very few points, and therefore he’s not very valuable. Despite what everyone wants to believe, he doesn’t make his teammates better, he can’t run a decent offense and despite being a “high-impact player”, he merely affects the form of the team, rather than the bottom line. He is a relic of the past, the days of yore when points per game mattered more than points per possession, true-shooting percentage, or anything else for that matter. Despite his burgeoning salary figure, the Raptors gave up very little in this deal.

As for the players coming back, I’m glad that the Raptors got some salary relief. Although I’ve always maintained (and still do) that Gay will turn down his player option in favor of job security, the risk of Gay opting-in was a potential ax that dangled precariously over the flexibility of the roster.

Zarar Siddiqi
Acquiring Rudy Gay was a terrible decision, therefore getting rid of him can only be a good one. Rudy Gay’s deficiencies are well-documented and the man was a net-negative in every category so watching him depart is a net-positive (by a lot). The trade is nothing more than the deconstruction of the roster handed to Masai Ujiri by Bryan Colangelo. Two of the most frustrating players in Andrea Bargnani and Rudy Gay have been shipped out, and the Raptors can now at least boast of a leaner cap situation.

None of Salmons, Vasques, Patterson or Hayes appear to be long-term prospects, but all of them are decent role players (well, maybe not Salmons). Nothing to build a franchise around, but good enough to pepper across your roster to add some depth. Having said that, the question remains whether this is a move to tank or a move to improve. I can’t say this is a tank-move because this trade does improve the team (addition by subtraction, and such). At the same time, it obviously isn’t a blockbuster that pushes the team to the next level. What it is is a step, a step that sets up the Raptors by saving them money this summer – $12.4M to be precise. So if you evaluate this team from a flexibility and personnel perspective, you have to like it because:

– Got rid of a cancer before it metastasized
– Improved team depth for this season
– Freed up playing time for a first round draft pick (Terrence Ross)
– Upgraded the offense by getting rid of a one-on-one player, hopefully resulting in more team-ball and more touches for another draft pick (Valanciunas)
– Freed up cap space for the summer
– Got a chance to have a long look at Patterson and Vasquez as they’re RFAs next summer

It’s hard to argue with this one. Wonder if Ujiri is done? Is Lowry next now that his buddy is gone? Is DeRozan even in Ujiri’s plans (remember the Bledsoe rumours)? It’s all shaping up to be quite interesting.

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104 Responses to “RR Roundtable: Reactions to the Rudy Gay trade”

  1. Willbilly

    Thank the baby raptor Jesus he’s gone. What a waste of talent. He could have easily had five dimes a game if he was less of a douche!

  2. arsenalist

    “What the Raptors failed to get back was a draft pick or a decent prospect”

    Tim, I think can explain why this didn’t happen: It’s likely because there are other GMs in this league that have functioning brain cells.

      • WhiteVegas

        Rudy was never going to bring back a prospect or pick. The Detroit offer was even worse because at least Vasquez and Patterson are on rookie deals and will be restricted free agents. They are both far more tradeable than Stuckey or Villanueva ($8.5M each, unrestricted). It’s not a huge difference but I think we got the better value deal.
        I’d also note that Vasquez will allow us to trade Lowry and develop our young players on offense (plus he sucks on D which is good for the tank). Stuckey is a SG so we’d still need to find a PG to replace Lowry for the rest of the season otherwise we’d throw away a year of development from all our guys while DJ Augustin runs the point.

        • Tim W.

          Stuckey is averaging 15 ppg, with a .559 TS%, and 3 apg in just 27 minutes. He’s a decent rebounder, as well. Of all the players, including Gay and the players the Raptors are getting back from Sacramento, Stuckey probably has more value than any of them.

          As for not getting a pick or prospect, I agree that’s probably the case right now. But if Masai had waited or packaged Gay with another valuable asset, then I think he would have maximized his value.

          As for getting a PG, DeRozan and Lowry are still around to trade, so one of them could have returned a PG.

          As I said, I’m not against this deal in the least, but my point is that it was decent. Not great, but decent.

          • Paul

            Why would we get more for Gay if we packaged him?
            If you sell a turd and an apple, it’s still worth an apple.
            That being said, I do think the Detroit deal was better.
            Hayes contract is another Landry Fields.
            We have a lot of money invested in 3 useless players in Fields, Hayes and Novak.
            My hope is that we can package Novak with Lowry because his deal runs the longest.

            • Tim W.

              Look at what Sacramento got for players like John Salmons and Carl Landry. Gay is overpriced, but he’s miles better than those two.

              • Marc G

                You said Carl Landry again. Repeat Tim W: Chuck Hayes. In all serious Tim, I don’t understand why you keep comparing apples to oranges. Best value doesn’t always equate most productive player. You complete negate the domino effect from the player’s position, contract situation, etc.

                • Tim W.

                  Argh! I don’t know me why I keep thinking Carl Landry. I just would have liked to see a better return on Gay. That’s all.

        • Tim W.

          It’s not about getting better. It’s about playing more to his norm. He’s not as bad as he’s looked, recently. And it was very likely his play would have improved.

          • johng_3

            What norm? He is what he is. A high volume low % shooter. He had half of last season to now to figure it out. Clearly his eye sight getting back to norm was not helping him. This team just wasn’t the right fit for him and we all can see it. Best wishes to him in Sac-town

            • Tim W.

              His shooting percentage is a career low, right now. That’s not the norm, for him. The eyesight excuse was always just that. An excuse. The problem with Gay is not that he can’t shoot. It’s that he needs to have better shot selection. There is no operation for that. But it’s likely he would have gotten back to where he normally shoots.

              • johng_3

                And that’s the problem, I don’t think with the way this team is built and especially with Casey coaching that Rudy would be able to succeed. DeMar or Rudy eat up the shot clock way too much and it ends up in a long contested jumper. There is no floor spacer who can really shoot for one main playmaker.

          • ac1011990

            You wanted him traded as soon as possible a little while before. This is the type of deal we would get for Rudy based on the way he was playing. I personally have mixed feelings about the trade, but we weren’t going to get anything significant for him.

            • Tim W.

              I would have liked to have seen him traded before the season started, ideally on draft day. That never happened. I would rather not trade a player when his value is at it’s lowest.

              • Rap fan 2

                I think Masai needed a period of time to evaluate and see for himself the talent level and current state of the Toronto Raptors. It’s only fair to give everyone a time line and chance to showcase their individual skills. As well as to see whether or not the current composition of the team is performing to his standards and expectations.

          • CJT

            The fact that you know that means that GM;s around the league also realize that he is playing unusually poorly right now. As has been stated, I don’t believe that it affected his trade value much as most would expect him to return to his more natural numbers at some point. The reality is that he has always been and will continue to be what he is within a few points either direction. As you have stated, we don’t know what other deals were on the table for RG in the summer and similarly we don’t know what other offers were on the table for him this week. So maybe this is the best offer? We will never know.

            • Tim W.

              There’s a difference between figuring that a player will improve, and seeing it. If Gay’s play improved, then he would have been seen as less of a risk.

              Again, I don’t dislike the deal, yet I feel people are arguing with me as if I do. I think it’s a decent deal. I just don’t think it was a great deal. The timing, I think, hurt Gay’s value.

              • ItsAboutFun

                “There’s a difference between figuring that a player will improve, and seeing it.”

                There’s a difference between figuring what his value is, and what opportunities are out there, and seeing it. You haven’t the faintest idea about anything that MU has learned while working the phones, so to even suggest you know better, and that MU could have done better if he waited, is preposterous.

                “I don’t dislike the deal, yet I feel people are arguing with me as if I do.”

                No, people are arguing with you because you act like you know much more than you do about this trade, and Rudy’s value. You complain often about being misunderstood, as you have plenty in this thread, but it’s always for the same reason, that you’re not getting. Know-it-all attitude.

      • DDayLewis

        Let’s be real. I doubt a GM sees a goof 5-game stretch from Gay and pays a ransom for him. Everyone in the league knows who he is. At this point, his value is what it is.

        • Tim W.

          Gay simply isn’t as bad as he’s been playing, so if he starts playing like he did last season, then I think more teams will be more likely to trade for him. The fact is that Gay’s value has never been lower, and that’s when he was traded.

          Again, I’m not suggesting it was a bad trade in the least. I think it was a decent trade. But the timing of the trade meant that the Raptors got little value for him.

          • DDayLewis

            Yeah but you’re almost suggesting that if the Raptors kept Gay, and Gay returned to his usual 54 TS%, that some GM would have believed in that change and paid more for Gay, whereas I’m fairly certain that every GM in the league knows who he is and what he can/can’t do by now.

            • Tim W.

              I think seeing Gay return to his norm would have increased his value just as seeing how he played recently has decreased his value.

              • DDayLewis

                The Grizzlies got an expiring and Ed Davis for him. A year later, Ujiri got an expiring, an extra year of salary, and two somewhat useful pieces for Gay. IMO the market for Gay looked to be about the same as it ever was.

                • Tim W.

                  The Grizzlies did MUCH better, in my opinion. Calderon is better than Vasquez and Davis is much better than Patterson. And the Raptors had to take on more salary for the next season.

                  If the Raptors could have gotten a prospect as good as Davis, I would have been much happier. I don’t like Patterson in the least. I didn’t like him when the Raptors were looking at him before the draft and I like him less now.

                • DDayLewis

                  How did the Grizzlies do “much” better? They didn’t take on long-term money, but that’s about it. At this point in their careers, the bird rights to both Patterson and Vasquez is probably more valuable than Ed Davis (whom I love, but we already have Amir and Jonas). No draft picks for the Grizzlies, other than an insignificant second rounder.

                  And the Grizzlies didn’t even want Calderon.

                  Not really seeing how it’s “much” better.

                • Tim W.

                  Calderon is better than Vasquez and Davis is better than Patterson. Plus, Carl Landry’s deal might be worse than Landry Fields. He’s making $6.7 million a year for the next four years.

                • DDayLewis

                  Yes, but the Grizzlies weren’t getting Calderon for Calderon, they wanted cheap help on the wing (hence the deal with Detroit). He was just an expiring, whereas Vasquez is at least a restricted free-agent (restricted vs unrestricted has value to the Raptors, however marginal it may be). Davis might be better than Patterson, but there’s at least some potential in both Vasquez AND Patterson (both less than 4 years in the league). There’s also the added bonus that Vasquez and Patterson can be shipped off in separate small-deals for second-rounders/other middling prospects.

                  The Raptors got Chuck Hayes who is only on the books for one more year at 6 million dollars next season.

                  Edit: Neither trade was a home run. Both deals are relatively comparable.

                • Tim W.

                  The crux of the deal was Gay for Calderon and Davis. The fact the Grizzlies needed wing help doesn’t change that.

                  Vasquez turns 28 in January. There is not more potential with him. I think he’s a good backup, but a below average starter.

                  As for Patterson, I never have liked him.

                  Again, I don’t hate the deal at all. I think it’s pretty good. Pretty good gets a C+, in my books.

                  It’s certainly not a great deal, but some people are carrying on like it is.

                • Plus

                  Most people couldn’t bare to watch him have tunnel vision, missed layups, missed dunks, and prima donna behaviour. 5 game losing streak with that retard on the floor like he’s Kobe is a one way ticket outta here. We’ll never know if he could go back to his usual self but the risk of doing that was sacrificing all they were saying at the start of the season.

                • Tom Liston

                  Tim, the Raptors received Chuck Hayes in return, not Carl Landry. Hayes has only one year beyond this – at $6 million. Perhaps that tainted your view as its a very significant difference (Hayes becomes a nice expiring next year).

                  As well, you cannot assume Rudy would get materially better in the short run with this Raptors’ squad. I believe it would be a *very* poor decision to make this bet rather than take the bird in hand – and take advantage of a “new owner syndrome”. By waiting, you risk (just as good odds) more of the same – or even worse. And then you’re done. You had perhaps a couple teams that were possibles for this terrible contract and you may lose even them – or, at the very least, accept a terrible contract in return. That would be a dumb risk to take for minor upside.

                  Zarar nailed it in his six points. Time is the enemy.

                • Tim W.

                  My mistake about Hayes vs Landry. Thanks. That is better, but that’s still not great.

                  I would have liked to have seen Gay traded on draft day. I think there were more options then.

                  Again, I don’t dislike the deal in the least. I just think it’s not great.

                • Trianoball

                  Grizzlies were also dealing with Colangelo, a poor GM in extreme desperation mode. If not for BC, they likely would’ve have got even less than Ed.

              • WhiteVegas

                His offseason value was Stuckey and Villanueva, no prospects or picks. We got back a deal that is better in my eyes, but at least comparable any way you slice it. Rudy’s value actually could have gotten lower worse his play been so bad desperate teams like Sacramento gave up hope on him.

                • Tim W.

                  No, we don’t know WHAT Gay’s offseason value was. That was the only deal that we heard about. There’s a difference. And most Raptor fans hated it.

      • Mexiballer

        Maybe Masai made the trade because because it was the only offer that he had. If he turns it down and the Kings do something else, what happens then if no one else wants him. Or what if he did find another trade partner later in the trade season…say in February. How much time does that give him to put more trades together and do whatever else he is planning on doing. Making the trade now…early in the trade season gives him plenty of time to make more moves before trade dead line. You said “Holding onto Gay longer might have increased his value”. “Might” is the key word. Getting stuck with Rudy Gay would not be a gamble that I would want to take. Taking this early trade seems like a very good move given all the unknowns, especially the idea that we would have to eat Gays contract at least for the rest of this year.

  3. plk

    @Sam Holako
    Ujiri “traded Bargnani and Gay for a first rounder, two second rounder’s, Steve Novak, Grevious Vasquez, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and the cost-effective corpses of Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, and John Salmons”

    Damn. That sure puts things into the proper context, doesn’t it? Ujiri’s nickname should be “The Wizard”.

  4. Checbenj

    My vision/nightmare … Rudy dribbles into 3 opposing players … Valanciunas’s hands up in the low post getting pushed but holdin his own …. Demar in the corner wide open …. Rudy gets stripped …again. I think Rudy will enjoy the Kings he will be able to shoot all he likes. next to go Throw up a three Lowry

  5. theswirsky

    “What the Raptors failed to get back was a draft pick or a decent prospect, and that’s the main reason I’m not ecstatic about the deal”
    I’m going to take this a step further and say Masai actually had to give up the best prospect in the deal (Acy). Glad Gay is traded, was an absolute necessity no matter what type of team building Masai is planning, and I’m not losing any sleep over what the team got back. But the CV/Stuckey expirings was a better deal than this one.
    Either way a necessity, just too bad Masai waited and lost value in the deal. Karma is a bitch I guess.

    • WhiteVegas

      Lost value because of Acy? I’m assuming we’re talking beards and not on court talent.

      I’d rather have 2 rookie contracts, one of which is a capable replacement PG (so we can trade Lowry), than the expirings of Stuckey and Charlie V. We can move Vasquez and Patterson and their tiny expirings (RFA’s also) easily if we want before the deadline. Stuckey and Charlie V are $8.5M each and therefore much harder to find a suitable trade partner.

  6. drg

    Yeah, I think the summer deal with Detroit was better. But who would have guessed that Gay’s value would have dropped so much considering it was a contract year for him.

  7. TheR3dMenace

    Vasquez is better than getting credit for. He’ll get buckets for the second unit.

      • WhiteVegas

        Much better tank commander than Lowry. He’ll win less games for us (with his D) but allow us to run a more typical offense (e.g. pick and rolls with JV/Amir). If we like him we can bring him back on a cheap deal as our backup, or starter for another year (depending on who we draft). The beauty of getting Vasquez instead of Stuckey is it gave us full freedom to trade Lowry. DJA and Stone would kill JV’s development as starters.

        • Tim W.

          As I alluded to in my writeup, I’m anxious to see what other deals are coming. It’s always hard to grade deals in a vacuum, especially when we don’t know what else the Raptors could get.

  8. StabbyRaccoon

    These responses are gold! So I take it the trade was a good one and benefited the team, but at the same time Tim has a very good point, before we blow it out of proportions we should recognize that it’s only half of the move. To be able to make this count Masai has to sign some very good contracts, this just allows him to be able to do it better and until he completes the second part of the move we should merely be confident in him, Doge’s approval notwithstanding.

    But…Quincy :(. That hurts no matter how important the deal was. And also if he trades Amir Johnson for anything other than an obvious and significant net benefit to the Raptors I’m pretty sure that Raptors fans will crucify the Masaiah.

    • DDayLewis

      Cap room isn’t just for signing free agents. It allows for flexibility, permitting Ujiri the opportunity to grease the wheels for deals between other teams, picking up assets where he can. It’s the freedom that’s valuable.

      • StabbyRaccoon

        That too, whether it’s free agents or trades, he has to use the new flexibility correctly now. I think he will. And I see what an amazing job he actually did with it, the incredible flexibility looks like the better option than trying to get a long-term asset.

  9. golden

    Tim. W summed up my thoughts to a T. Only thing I might add is: was it not possible to increase Gay’s trade value by forcing him to play team ball and forcing plays to be called for other players. Clearly, Raps have been showcasing Gay since the beginning of the year, and after the 1st week or so, it was obvious that Gay’s style of play needed to change or the absolute worst of Gay (or any sub-superstar) would be exposed, resulting in plummeting market value. I’d love to know what went down behind the scenes between MU, Casey & Gay, because the style of play certainly wasn’t helping MU swing any deal. If Gay was openly refusing to listen to Casey, then he’s a jackass. If Casey was actually calling those ISOs, then he’s an even bigger problem than Gay.

  10. rapierraptor

    I think it’s a bit unfair to call Rudy a “cancer.” I don’t think he had a terrible attitutude. I think he was in a bad place psychologically and was frustrated at his inability to break old habits and become a more decisive, intelligent basketball player.

  11. Andrey

    if Raptors ever win Championship Tim will be like “That’s nice but there’s no chance of Repeat”

    • Tim W.

      What’s funny is that people accused me of being pessimistic because I suggested the Raptors would start the season off poorly. And they did. And then they said I was pessimistic because I said Gay would be gone by Christmas. And now he’s gone. They said I was pessimistic because I said the team would likely tank. And now they appear to be doing just that. And I actually have hope for the Raptors, if they tank, which certainly doesn’t sound like pessimism.

      At some point, you might want to start calling me a realist rather than a pessimist. If I was actually wrong about all those things people said I was being pessimistic about, you guys might have a point. But since I haven’t been wrong, then you might want to start listening to what I’m saying instead of whining about it.

      Sorry for the rant. But I think I’m due a little leeway on that one.

      • rapierraptor

        Yikes. There are more humble ways to articulate that point but to each their own. But yes credit where credit is due- nice analysis of the Raps so far this season.

        • Tim W.

          At some point, worrying about being humble went out the window. I was just sick of getting labelled with that pessimist tag for not calling a piece of crap anything but what it is.

          • ezz_bee

            I do think you would have gotten less blowback if you had just given him a B- instead of the C+. I any event, I do get your point about trading when value is at it’s perceived lowest. I was actually saying that it’d be fine to keep Bargs for part of this season for that reason (his stock should go up as length of deal goes down).

            However, I do think you are underestimating how long it could/would take for him to return to his “norm” also, there is the possibility that he gets worse before he gets better, or sustains an injury that makes him untradeable.

            I also wonder if you are factoring in the added roster flexibility he has by making the deal before Dec. 18th, which means that all of the incoming players can be included for deals at the deadline.
            Despite this deal not really returning what we want (young players or prospects) I think we are set up with better chance to make some of those trades happen.

            For me this is only the first domino, and I’m not really willing to judge Masai on this move only. How I feel about this to a large part depends on what else he does.

      • lewro

        wow! didn’t even read this before i made my post above. tim w, you don’t need to apologize for yourself! listen to the raps cast – even sacramento writers laugh at the raps. telling raps fans that the raps suck is like telling rudy that he sucks – earmuffs.
        tanking is optimistic bc you actually want the raps to get better, whereas, competing is denial bc you can’t accept (for lack of a better word) that the raps are bad.
        it’s ok to be contrarian. this panel needs that.

  12. Jeremy

    Seeing Rudy go makes me think of how much worse shape this team could be in had Colangelo’s attempt at big name but fading Nash been successful. “Journalist” Doug Smith was cheer-leading and fortunate son Bryan was throwing all caution to the wind with his whiz-bang poison-pill offer for Fields. He left us hobbling but the decimation could have easily been worse.

  13. Dr. Scooby

    Tim W, I completely agree with your assessment of the players the Raps got back in this deal.

    That being said, the Raps couldn’t hold on to Gay any longer in hopes of a better deal (yeah the Detroit offer was marginally better, but still a stale donut of deal -and Gay’s play has been much worse since).

    When Gay was initially acquired I thought A) he’s better that what we got, and B) his massive contract will always be tradeable. While Gay couldn’t look worse than he’s been, I truly doubt he could have improved his trade value to warrant holding onto him.

    • Tim W.

      You’re probably right. But I still give him a C+. I also think I’m a much harder grader than most. I would have given Ujiri an A for the Bargnani trade. But not this one.

  14. Dr. Scooby

    Gay’s skills are on the decline. I believe his poor play is indicative of a player who cannot do what he used to do well.

    Not only have his shooting percentages fallen off the table, his turnovers have increased. His speed and his elevation noticeably seemed to have diminished.

    Adios Rudy and good luck in Sactown.

    • Bendit

      His off season weight gain (thru training apparently) is a likely reason. He has trouble making layups and dunks now….unbelievable for Gay.

  15. Sham

    Even ESPN gave a A for the Raptors for this trade. You gotta look at the big picture and Rudy was the laughing stock of the entire league this year. Masai did a great job hands down.

    • Tim W.

      I think some people might be confused with my grade. I gave the trade a C+, which some people seem to think is a bad grade. This is the grading system I am working from:

      A+: An exceptional / outstanding performance.80–89
      A: An excellent / very good performance.70-79
      B: A good / above average performance.60–69
      C: A generally satisfactory, intellectually adequate performance.50–59
      D: A barely acceptable performance.0–49
      F: An unacceptable performance.

      This is generally the grading system I grew up with. I think the trade was acceptable, but I don’t see how this was excellent or exceptional, by any means.

      Keeping mind, I would give the Kings an F.

  16. Tanks-a-lot

    It’s nice to have a black guy running things that is not some moronic American black guy that is trained to have no brains.

    I just know that American blacks are WAY biased away from the real world.

  17. Mexiballer

    Isn’t the whole point that in order for the Raptors to even begin to move forward they had to trade Rudy Gay and his enormous contract. The Raptors were stuck in a corner with little room to move. That was step one. An essential step. Now Masai has room to operate.

  18. lewro

    Tim W.
    “Before you start throwing the pessimist tag at me once again, let me explain.”

    I think you’re being realistic, not pessimistic. i’d say B is fair. it’s only higher if they got a pick. holding on to gay longer would have been better a couple reasons:
    1) He is the best tank commander. If there were a draft for tanking, he would go #1. his ego is a huge intangible. it ruins him and everyone around him.
    2) He opts out bc he believes he is worth more money. asks masai if he can get paid per shot, in hopes of hoisting 21 million shots ($1/shot) in 2014.
    3) He’s a 20 million expiring next year. Isn’t he easier to trade at that point?
    4) He expires 2015. Let him walk. we dont take junk back. our 2014 pick has one year under his belt. we know what we have in him. we have 20 million to build around him.

    Positives: Player development, Trade flexibility, deeper bench (not a tank positive).

    Forecast: I am worried this will turn into a fire sale. I hope masai isn’t too hasty. I think we can get a higher return closer to feb.

    • Tim W.

      There are certainly things I like about the trade, which is why I gave it a C+. We were limited to 500 words, in the roundtable, so I couldn’t get into everything. I had a longer version I cut down.

      I also don’t think it’s going to be a fire sale, and, as I said, I’m looking forward to what happens next.

  19. Tee

    Cool thoughts but its way too early to grade this deal.
    Same with the Bargnani trade.

    We will look back at this in 5 years to truly see whats up.

  20. leftovercrack

    I was actually one of those people who thought Rudy’s eye surgery could make a difference; I feel shame. This trade is not a tank trade, it is one that gives us financial freedom and will allow our young players to develop. The tank trade will be when Lowry is dealt and Vasquez given the starting PG job

  21. FAQ

    WHAT HAPPENED?… are the New Look Raptors gonna make the playoffs (by winning the Titanic Division)?

    Soon we’re gonna need a program to remember all the new bodies… and there are a lot of familiar old bodies strewn all over the NBA!

    Seriously though…. forget Wiggins because he’s not all that good and besides the lottery is just a long term crapshoot. Besides, I think he doesn’t want to play for the Raptors anyway… his fame will be in the USofA … like Nash, Tristan and Captain Kirk….!!!!

    Ujiri’s master plan will most likely come to fruition somewhere in the distant future… like 2017-18… I hope…. seeya

    Go Raps, Gooooo…..

  22. FAQ

    WHAT HAPPENED?… are the New Look Raptors gonna make the playoffs (by winning the Titanic Division)?

    Soon we’re gonna need a program to remember all the new bodies… and there are a lot of familiar old bodies strewn all over the NBA!

    Seriously though…. forget Wiggins because he’s not all that good and besides the lottery is just a long term crapshoot. Besides, I think he doesn’t want to play for the Raptors anyway… his fame will be in the USofA … like Nash, Tristan and Captain Kirk….!!!!

    Ujiri’s master plan will most likely come to fruition somewhere in the distant future… like 2017-18… I hope…. seeya

    Go Raps, Gooooo…..

  23. Rap fan 2

    Even though Masai Ujuri did not say it directly, what he did say in his Q&A press conference after the trade hints that they will be getting into position to get a top lottery position. One thing he is certain of is that the Raptors will not be in no man’s land. He’s very confident about this fact. He gives us a cunning laugh here. So that either means they are going into the top of the lottery or they are going for getting into the playoffs and contending. I think it’s easier to guarantee getting into the lottery than guaranteeing a playoff berth and contending. Besides, making all these trades and bringing in all these new players in the middle of the season may cause more chemistry issues. He doesn’t believe in making moves just to get an extra couple of wins. They are primarily focused on the future. In regards to Coach Casey, he’s not being evaluated on wins or loses. They are both on the same page here. So for all the Coach Casey critics out there: the coach is buying into the plan. Let’s give him a break! It’s all about doing what’s right for the franchise. It’s about the big picture. It’s more about growth of the team, growth or development of the players. It’s about getting better and building up the franchise. Masai is not necessarily about tearing down and getting rid of everyone and building from scratch. He’s open to keeping key current players as well as bringing in new talent that can be part of the type of team they are trying to build here. He’s always evaluating and open to all offers that will make the team better today and for the future.

    Mmmmaaaaaahhhhhh! Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

  24. 2damkule

    to sum up Tim’s perspective, the trade is lacking because MU was unable to pull off what now appears to be a near impossible task (namely, getting a prospect &/or a pick in return for a package centred around Gay). perhaps waiting was a more suitable approach, but the risk for MU was, i’m guessing, too high. to wait and see if Gay’s stock improves closer to the deadline, when there will be a whole lot more bodies on the market that would undermine whatever leverage he had. that little bit about being able to include any of the 4 incoming bodies as a trade package prior to the deadline really can’t be overlooked.

    i get that. i would REALLY have liked to get another pick in this draft, even if it was heavily protected. but it isn’t exactly a situation where you’re going to get what you want, just because you REALLY want it. MU obviously did his due diligence and canvassed the league, and he came away with the understanding that no picks or legit prospects would be coming back for gay (without including significant sweetener), so he shifted his approach to creating cap space & acquiring assets that would help facilitate subsequent moves.

    looking back on Tim’s article re. Gay & where he’d be come Xmas, the package he put together involving Sacto isn’t all that dissimilar to what went down, minus lowry & mcclemore (and, c’mon, mcclemore ain’t being dealt, certainly not for the likes of gay & lowry’s expiring). since the package Tim put together b/w TO & Sacto didn’t include a pick, and only included a prospect who realistically wouldn’t possibly be dealt (let alone for a Gay/Lowry package), i’m a bit confused as to how it fell short of expectations, other than the goalposts were moved.

    though, i’m more confused why it matters what an internet blogger grades a trade in December between two shitty teams, but hey, INTERNET!

    • Tim W.

      You summed it up quite well. I think a lot of the problems lie in the fact that some think a C+ is a bad grade. It means slightly above satisfactory (C is satisfactory).

      Looking back on that article, I did get a whole lot of flak for predicting he’d be gone before Christmas, didn’t I?

  25. Jeez

    Tim is a moron. Why does SI feel the need to link me to a blog of laypeople who have no real knowledge of basketball? It’s like listening to a drunk rant at the bar. I was a Gay apologist for a long time… but guys head is broken. I blame Casey more for anything, as trust me, he was never going back to his career highs without people chewing him out for his retarded shots. You think Hollins and Randolph let him chuck that garbage up? No. And he should have been on the bench or doing it. Casey is supposed to have managments support, so benching Rudy for his chucking woulda been fine. Then maybe he’d start playing team basketball again, and actually be a useful player. Guy thinks if he garbs a defensive board he entitled to dribble up, dribble around a jack a shot. Team killer man. Raptors are betger in every way shape and form after this trade save for one thing… shots with like 3-5 seconds left on the shot clock. For all his downfalls, I was quite happy to have him with the ball in his hands with 3 on the clock (mainly because he would talk the same shot as if 15 seconds were left anyway) and no one else quite has that skill set yet. Maybe Demarr will learn, but h always pulls his stupid pump fake leaning pull up. LAkers game was fun to watch, but when there was 3 on the shot clock and demar had the ball it was PAINFUL! Sick trade though. So much flexibility, all semi moveable pieces in other trades, bench depth. Dope.
    Tim is dumb though.



  1.  Video: Kings fans welcome Rudy Gay to Sacramento with standing ovation | The Point Forward -
  2.  RR Roundtable: Reactions to the Rudy Gay trade | Blake Murphy Sports Writing

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