Rudy Gay's short Toronto tenure comes to an end unceremoniously, as he gets a much-needed new start
Late Sunday night, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of the trade between the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings that shipped off embattled wingman Rudy Gay, along with role players Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, to the struggling Kings in exchange for guards Greivis Vasquez and John Salmons in addition to forwards Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes.
Gay, who was averaging 19.4 points per game and shooting 39 percent from the field in 18 games with Toronto in the 2013-14 campaign, went to Toronto last January after being dealt from the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that traded for him on draft day in 2006. Pundits, analysts, writers and pundits have ripped Gay constantly this season for his incredibly poor shooting numbers and for the fact that he banned stat sheets from the Raptors' locker room in an odd ploy to get his team to focus on winning games, not their point totals.
It was clear, though, Gay's employment and relationship with the Raptors was going to be shortlived, especially with his albatross of a contract and less-than-stellar statistics in his short time with the team.
Such a trade, like the one Toronto GM Masai Uriji pulled off, was totally necessary for both parties--Gay and the Raptors--because it gave the former UConn star what he needed in order to regain his top form on the court: a new team and setting.
For Gay and supplementary guys such as Gray and Acy, the Raptors were able to get a nice haul, obtaining Vasquez -- a serviceable point man -- as well as scoring guard Salmons, former lottery pick Patterson, and the scrappy Hayes. Now in one of the NBA's smallest markets, far from the media pressure of the Northeast, Gay will have to ability to work on his game and improve himself as a player without the scrutiny he has faced in his other destinations.
With Gay, and the increased playing time at the point that Isaiah Thomas is likely to get, the Kings have a chance to run a much freer offense that should allow Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton, Ben McLemore and the other athletic scorers Sacramento has to get more opportunities to put up a lot of points.
As a poor defensive team without much depth in terms of big men, the Kings have to score often in order to win games. This trade allows them to do that.