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Impact of Rudy Gay trade from Raptors to the Kings

Yash Matange
1.66K   //    19 Dec 2013, 13:16 IST

After the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings agreed to a trade involving seven players in the second week of December, Rudy Gay, the biggest name among the seven players, will now play for his third team in a single calendar year.

With the trade the Raptors welcome Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez as they send Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to the California capital.

Each trade deal has winners and losers but at the end of the day whether short or long term both teams go ahead with the trade hoping that it would have a positive impact on the team. Naming the winners and losers in this deal is no brain teaser.

So rather than focusing more on the winner and loser on this deal, let’s take a deeper look at how this deal is going to affect both teams and more importantly how is it going to affect Rudy Gay and his career?

Losers-Sacramento Kings

The list of short term or long term benefits for the Kings after acquiring Rudy Gay is really short

The Sacramento Kings’ two trades this month acquiring Derrick Williams from Minnesota Timberwolves and now Rudy Gay from Toronto as made their line-up extremely athletic. Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro believes the management owed this aggressive approach to the fans.

But does it really help them?

Long term-NO.

Chuck Hayes was the only player traded who had a contract past the coming off-season, so if Gay was to take the player option of 19.3 million dollars, this trade is nothing but a bold gamble. Since his twilight years in Memphis, Gay’s stock across the league has sunk as more teams with each game realize the true value of a player who averages 19 points at 38.8% shooting.


What about this season?

With Vasquez traded, Isiah Thomas starts as point guard, a position earned and well deserved. So he is definitely a happy onlooker with regards to this trade. The roster assembled post both trades is bound to certainly raise the hopes of many Kings fans when it comes to this season.

Gay comes to Sacramento with his ineffective shooting, poor passing for a small forward (2.2 assists), poor body language on the court and lack of defensive hustle.

Not a good move when your rebuilding.

Winners- Toronto Raptors

Masai Ujiri has got rid of Raptors’ two worst contracts prior to this season by trading Andrae Bargnani and Rudy Gay

As a franchise how do you fire your man in the management who has just won the NBA’s Executive of the Year award? Ask the Denver Nuggets.

Well the Nugget’s loss is the Raptors gain. Masai Ujiri signed a 5 year 15 million deal with raptors before the start of the June this year and ever since his decisions with the franchise only justify him receiving the award last season.

With the Rudy Gay trade, he has managed to get rid of the two worst contracts of the team ( Andrea Bargnani was traded to the New York Knicks in the offseason) within 6 months of acquiring the job.

John Salmons contract can be bought post this season, saving upto 8 million, meanwhile if the Raptors decide to not offer qualifying offers to the two players they owe it-Vasquez and Patterson, they save another six million.

Of the players the Raptors traded to the Kings, Aaron Gray was to become a free agent at the end of the season and Acy’s contract wasn’t guaranteed beyond this year. So Ujiri has not only rid the team of a high price low effeiciency scorer, he also acquired three players of the same age as the rest of the roster at just 2 million higher.

In just over half a year since he was appointed the general manager, he has made moves that have not only helped the team financially at present but has them prepared to be in a good position in the future.

His smart trade alone makes the Raptors the winners of this deal.

Impact on Rudy Gay’s career:

Rudy Gay’s value in the market would largely depend on his performance with the Sacramento Kings

He could look at it as an opportunity to show the league what he is really worth or could just continue on the downward slide he has been on over the past couple of years.

His stint with the Raptors has been far from satisfying, so while keeping him financially satisfied and motivated this deal also gives him a chance to start with a clean slate.

He has start with returning to the franchise what they have invested in him by showing energy and hustle on the floor. Show the franchise that he is fully committed to the success of the team. As a mature 27 year old in the league, the teams expect a certain respectable body language from him on the floor.

Doing this also eases his new Coach Mike Malone’s job as he is busy trying to develop Cousins into a player they can build their defense around but Cousins’ reputation for complaining and emotional immaturity makes his job tougher than it seems.

Relative to the rest of the Kings’ roster, Gay is somewhat a veteran with a 7 year experience in the league. So for starters on the court he is got to act like a veteran, earn and demand respect from the rest of the players.

Whether he takes or leaves the player option in his deal for next year, he is still going to be a free agent either this summer or the next one. He needs his value in the NBA to rise and it will do so only when he shows the basic attributes of hustle, energy and positive body language on the floor.