If you believe DD is going to get a 3pt shot or DD and Gay are going to set the league on fire, then what comes next is likely to infuriate you - sorry about that.
Unfortunately the first paragraph of what follows essentially summarizes why the pairing of DD/Gay is likely to fail. Add to that they are the 1st and 2nd highest paid wings on a team that currently has 71% of its cap devoted to inefficient (Gay, DD) or flawed (post injury Fields) or unproven (Ross) or damaged (Kleiza) players then something has to give. For those still in denial or experiencing anger, remember that a big talking piece for Colangelo was the pairing of DD/Gay - and he is now on the business side of the franchise with his successor just cleaning house of his hirings/holdovers of the last 7 years.
This bit of a Tim Chisholm article (he has started his own site/blog, be sure to check it out threeinthekey.ca) has been stuck in my head for days - especially the bold sections.
Really, though, when you are talking about Toronto’s wings what you are really talking about is Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan. They eat up 71% of the teams minutes on the wings, eat up 38.2% of the team’s shot attempts per game and together eat up half of the team’s salary cap. Both are high-volume (6th and 10th in FGA per game for swingmen), low-efficiency (120th and 93rd in TS% for swingmen) scorers and neither one is particularly adept at creating good shots for themselves or others. It is very hard to imagine this team succeeding in the long run with these two teamed up on the wings which makes it hard to envision Ujiri maintaining this pairing for any notable length of time.
If the two are to be split up, it makes the most sense to these eyes to keep Gay and move DeRozan along. Gay is a superior defender to DeRozan, he has shown in the past an ability to hit threes and his contract is half as long as DeRozan’s is, ending in the summer of 2015. Plus, because DeRozan is younger and makes less money per year, he would presumably be the easier of the two to move.
One of the big reasons to push for a split, though, isn’t about money or efficiency, it’s about shot allocation. Going into next season the team has to find far more shots for Jonas Valanciunas (7.3 FGA per game after the Gay trade) and probably should find more shots for Kyle Lowry (8.4 FGA per game post trade). If you take shot attempts away from DeRozan he won’t give you much in the other areas of the game. Better to explore the market for his services, especially in a summer when so many teams have money to spend on a weak free agent class, than to retain him and simply reduce his role in the structure of the offense. An offense centered around Valanciunas-Gay-Lowry could be potent if balanced right, especially if the team could stick a high-percentage three-point shooter into the starting shooting guard spot. Team them with the ever-improving Amir Johnson and a bench that has actual NBA talent on it and Ujiri may just have the beginnings of an interesting ball club.
I have read a number of times on these forums from those in favour of sticking with DD and/or DD-Gay pairing the question: well, if DD doesn't start, who does?
To that I provide this list of possibilities.
Both have flaws and question marks. Anyone saying those guys can't or shouldn't start have a sound foundation because they both have their own advantages and disadvantages with both relying on the promise of one thing or another (Fields return to health, Ross developing).
Kyle Korver (free agent)
Jared Dudley (trade block)
Mike Dunleavy (free agent)
JJ Redick (free agent)
Willie Green (non-guaranteed)
Kevin Martin (free agent)
Before the expected negative responses, please look at this and do the following, sort by:
7) PPS (while you can't sort it you can get the idea pretty quick)
If you did 1 through 7 above, a common theme likely emerged. With the exception of WP48 (Fields was 3rd), PoP48 (Fields was 3rd), Wins (Green was 8th in just over 1/3 the minutes of DD *3.4 vs 2.0*), and PPS (DD 6th with 1.21 and Green 7th with 1.17) the Raptors players were in the bottom 3 for nearly every category.
The reality is all of these players are better suited to start at SG than DD (only question for me is Dunleavy). With only the MLE to offer, Redick and Martin are likely not attainable without sign and trades (and getting player and 2 teams to agree is unlikely). The two players I would target are Dudley and Korver.
If Ross develops, great, you can move one of these guys to the bench. If Landry gets his shot back, great, you can move one of these guys to the bench. Or you could keep starting one of these guys. Either way you just solidified a weak bench.
What is the point of this? No, it is not to infuriate DD's fans. The point is to highlight Tim Chisholm's bold in the final paragraph while also highlighting there are a few players available (and possibly easily attainable) who fit much better than DeRozan, likely coming at much less cost.
The reality is this roster was built around and for Bargnani. It is why DD was selected in 2009 - his shooting, or lack thereof, was not a concern because Bargnani balanced him on the court. Unless you have a stretch 4 who can hit 3s consistently, you can't continue on with DD starting at SG. I think the odds of getting a stretch 4 who can hit 3s is much less likely than getting one of the players I listed above.
**Other than Dudley, I did not even look in to other possible trades nor did I look at the draft. I tried to stick to free agency as much as possible to keep the possible replacements as real as possible.**